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Dougherty gang: Sister is singing like a bird

August 12, 2011 |  9:56 am

Grace_Dougherty_Flickr_phot
The so-called Dougherty gang -- the three Florida siblings who captivated the country this week as they led law enforcement on a nationwide manhunt -- have been in custody only about 48 hours.

But the sister, Lee Grace Dougherty, 29, an exotic dancer in the Orlando area, has already made statements that suggest she's cozying up to law enforcement. Pasco County Sheriff's officials said they couldn't comment on whether this foreshadows Lee Grace Dougherty's defense strategy -- or if it signals a potential eagerness to turn evidence against her brothers in order to spare herself.

Lee Grace Dougherty, who was shot and injured during her capture by Colorado law enforcement authorities, appears to have taken responsibility for her actions. She allegedly told law enforcement sources that "I pointed my gun at the cop ... I deserved to get shot." She also added that the three "weren't trying to hurt anyone," according to law enforcement reports.

(Lee Grace, by the way, has an active Flickr feed in which she poses in various states of undress, and describes herself thusly: "I am a Floridian. Born and raised in Seminole County. I have a huge crazy family. I'm 28 but act like I'm 17 most of the time. I love to farm and shoot guys and wreck cars. I'm a redneck and proud of it. I like milk and German engineering and causing mayhem with my siblings.")

This much is clear: The three are facing a mountain of serious charges in an alleged three-state crime spree that started in Florida, reportedly included a bank-robbing pit stop in Georgia, and ended with their Wednesday arrest in Colorado. Jurisdictional issues are also being sorted out among federal and state authorities to determine which charges the trio could face first, and in which state.

Even more charges could be on the horizon: As law enforcement officials begin the task of documenting a time line for the purported crime spree, they are keeping a keen eye out for evidence of other crimes that may have been committed and the possibility the siblings might have high-tailed it to Texas for a stretch.

"It's very possible that they committed other crimes along the way," said Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco. That's where the recent trouble apparently began, with shots fired at a police officer there.

The three were in trouble with the law before they went on the lam. Dylan Dougherty, 26, faced a possession of marijuana charge. Lee Grace Dougherty faced five felonies and six misdemeanors, in connection with a May hit-and-run as well as a possible probation violation and alleged aggravated battery. Ryan Dougherty, 21, has 14 felony arrests, including drug-and-weapons charges, a burglar charge, and a lewd and lascivious behavior charge connected with sexting an 11-year-old.

Law enforcement is still in the early stages of piecing it all together as a fascinated public watches, intrigued by the trio dubbed a modern-day "Bonnie & Clyde & Clyde" with survivalist tendencies.

The three apparently had an underground, homemade bunker that they used to house a mini flotilla of ammunitions and also possibly used to "grow drugs." And in Colorado, they were reportedly spotted buying camping gear, suggesting that they planned to evade authorities by heading into the forest for cover.

Other questions: How did they end up with stolen Texas plates on their getaway car? Did they ever make it to Texas? Did they have any help, or were they ever in communication with someone else, and if so, how did they manage it?

"They are street smart criminals. So they might have realized we were on to them, ditched their phones," Nocco said during the news conference.

Perhaps Lee Grace Dougherty can fill them in.

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--Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch

Photo credit: Lee Grace Dougherty apparently likes to take pictures of herself, if her Flickr feed is any indication. Credit: Flickr

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