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TWIN BRANCH — A Kentucky woman was apprehended in the Twin Branch area of Mingo County early Friday morning after she led law enforcement on an 80-mile, three-hour chase that spanned three counties and two states.

Heather Ladawn Ratliff, 31, of Pikeville was arrested July 10 by the Mingo County Sheriff’s Department and charged with fleeing while DUI, possession with intent to deliver, altered pseudoephedrine, being a felon in possession of firearm, three counts of obstruction of an officer, DUI second offense, speeding, left of center, improper registration and no insurance, according to a criminal complaint filed in Mingo County Magistrate Court.

According to the complaint, deputies were notified of a pursuit coming from Pike County, Kentucky, into Mingo County, West Virginia. The pursuit began in Prestonsburg, which is located in Floyd County, Kentucky, but continued into Pike County and on to West Virginia.

Mingo County deputies took over pursuit at the state line, and Ratliff was traveling northbound in the southbound lane of U.S. 119.

Ratliff passed several vehicles while nearly striking several vehicles head on, according to the complaint.

The vehicle was pursued to the Twin Branch exit of 119, and deputies were able to safely force the vehicle off the roadway into Twin Branch Hollow.

Deputies approached the vehicle and demanded Ratliff out of the vehicle, but Ratliff accelerated the vehicle in an attempt to get away from the officers, according to police.

Ratliff was pulled from the vehicle and placed into custody.

A search of the vehicle revealed a large quantity of what appeared to be meth laying in plain view and also numerous small bags with what appeared to be meth.

A firearm was also found in the vehicle, and Ratliff allegedly told police that she was “eating meth” while driving.

The Prestonsburg Police Department in Kentucky havs petitioned for a warrant from the courts for several other charges and has confirmed extradition with Floyd County Commonwealth’s Attorney A. Brent Turner’s Office.

Once the state of West Virginia finds their charges settled, Ratliff will be returned to the Commonwealth to answer the other charges, as well as outstanding unrelated felony warrants for her arrest.

Ratliff’s Kentucky charges, in addition to her previous outstanding felony warrants, include first degree possession of a controlled substance, fleeing or evading police, wanton endangerment, felon in possession of a handgun, being a persistent felony offender, speeding and operating on a suspended or revoked license.

Ratliff was arrested and transported to Logan Regional Hospital by STAT Ambulance for medical treatment and was then arraigned in Mingo County Magistrate Court by David Justice. She is currently lodged in the Southwestern Regional Jail in Holden in lieu of a $50,000 cash-only bail.

K-9 Deputy B.T. Sipple, Cpl. Williams, Dep. M.J. Mounts, and PEC J. McCown were listed as the arresting officers.

Here are other complaints recently filed in Mingo County Magistrate Court:

  • Andrew Walter Harmon, 76, of Red Jacket was arrested July 5 by the West Virginia State Police and charged with attempted murder and wanton endangerment after he allegedly shot Tony Mitchem in the head with a shotgun in the Mitchell Branch area. Mitchem was air-lifted to the hospital for medical treatment and has since been moved out of ICU, according to family members.
  • Susan D. Rollins, 56, of Delbarton was arrested July 2 by the WVSP and charged with seven counts of failure to update sex offender registry.
  • Chad Lucas Baisden, 24, of Williamson was arrested June 27 and charged with third degree arson by the WVSP.
  • Tara Chafin, 33, of Williamson was arrested June 26 and charged with child neglect creating risk of injury and permitting an unlicensed driver by the Williamson Police Department.
  • Larry Ronald Jones, 60, of Delbarton was arrested June 26 by the WVSP and charged with assault and brandishing a deadly weapon.
  • David Collins, 52, of Belfry, Kentucky was arrested June 27 and charged with DUI second offense, driving revoked third offense, no operators, no insurance and no registration by the WPD.
  • Billy Preston, 41, of Delbarton was arrested June 29 and charged with felony grand larceny by the MCSD. He was also charged with DUI, simple possession, driving revoked and no insurance by the WVSP in a separate complaint.
  • Michael Edward Marcum, 51, of Dingess was arrested July 2 and charged with domestic assault and brandishing a deadly weapon by the MCSD.
  • Barry W. McClanahan, 51, of Majestic, Kentucky, was arrested July 1 and charged with fleeing, reckless driving, driving on right side of roadway and following too closely by the MCSD.
  • Donald Ray Marcum, 56, of Williamson was arrested July 7 and charged with kidnapping by the WPD.
  • John Franklin Williams, 52, of Red Jacket was arrested July 1 by the WVSP and charged with grand larceny.

Disclaimer: All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. A criminal complaint is a document that alleges a criminal charge.

Jarrid McCormick is a reporter for the Williamson Daily News. He can be reached by email at