After the two teenage lovebird runaways who were found in Florida and returned to their home state Kentucky after their 2-week long crime spree across the south, 18-year-old Dalton Hayes faced 8 charges including burglary, trespassing, and second-degree rape and is being held on a $250,000 cash bail pending a hearing next week.
Hayes, who was crying and looked visibly upset in court, pleaded not guilty to statutory rape, criminal mischief, trespassing, theft, and burglary.
— WLKY (@WLKY) January 23, 2015
13-year-old Cheyenne Phillips, his partner in crime, has not had any details publicly shared on the charges she might face, since she’s a minor. Although, her mother was arrested and charged with custodial interference, since she allegedly took Phillips from her father’s home without custodial rights.
While Hayes is taking the blunt of their duo crime spree that included fake checks and stolen vehicles, he did have an explanation that he willingly gave when police questioned him.
He told police that they just wanted to escape Phillips’ family, who he said were beating her, and they planned to make it to Miami. Hayes said that Phillips refused to go back to her abusive family, telling him she was going to run away, to which he responded that he will go with her because he didn’t want her going by herself.
Hayes was charged for other burglary crimes before this one, and he and Phillips fled the day before Hayes’ case was going to go before the grand jury. Hayes said that he wanted to show his girlfriend/’fiancé’ “the beach and ocean” before he was locked up.
Hayes feared he would be jailed for up to 5 years and wouldn’t get the chance to make his love’s dream come true of seeing the sea for the first time, Daily Mail explained.
Hayes said, “All I had to do was tell her to go home and none of this would’ve happened, but it’s hard to tell someone getting beat on to go home. But, if I could go back, I’d be paying for bus rides instead of stealing trucks.”
He did add, “It ain’t like we were killing cops and robbing stores,” unlike the notorious outlaws Bonnie and Clyde, to whom the couple were compared in several media reports, Hayes said. “We just went on a few high-speed chases.”
However, according to ABC News, Shawn Phillips, Cheyenne’s father, denied Hayes’ “completely bogus” allegation that asserted Cheyenne was abused at home, saying “Anyone that knows us knows better. My family is pretty well respected in the community.”
He does claim that he holds nothing against Hayes and that he’s not angry with him. “I don’t have anything against him. I’m not upset with this boy. He’s a boy. And apparently he thinks something of my daughter. He’s just not thinking clearly.”