- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 30, 2016

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - A Missouri woman has been indicted by a federal grand jury on eight counts in a multistate crime spree that ended when her boyfriend was fatally shot by police, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Brittany Nicole Harper, 30, of Joplin, Missouri, has been charged with conspiracy to transport a stolen vehicle across state lines, two counts of transporting a vehicle across state lines, three counts of carjacking and two counts of brandishing a weapon during a violent crime.

Harper was involved in crimes with her boyfriend Blake Fitzgerald that spanned four states, the prosecutors in Alabama said. The pursuit ended Feb. 5 when Fitzgerald was fatally shot by police in Milton, Florida.

The couple took a Cadillac for a test drive at a car dealership in Webb City, Missouri, on Jan. 26 and never returned, authorities said. The couple burglarized a home in Missouri, left the stolen Cadillac there and drove off in a 2007 Chevrolet Trailblazer parked at the home, prosecutors said.

After stealing from a Wal-Mart in Bessemer, Alabama, on Jan. 30, prosecutors said, the couple drove to Tuscaloosa in that state and forced a motel clerk into the backseat of his car. The couple drove to the Birmingham suburb of Hoover, tried and failed to carjack a McDonald’s employee and eventually released the motel clerk in Vestavia Hills, another Birmingham suburb.

Prosecutors said that after the clerk was released, Fitzgerald entered a home in Vestavia Hills and forced a man toward the garage at gunpoint in front of his children. Prosecutors said the man broke free and ran for help and Fitzgerald forced the man’s wife into the couple’s car at gunpoint and drove away.

Authorities said the couple dropped the woman off in Birmingham and drove to Perry in central Georgia in the SUV they stole from her house.

Investigators have said a gunman believed to be Fitzgerald robbed a Georgia gas station at gunpoint and forced the clerk into an SUV, where his female accomplice was waiting. The couple drove about 15 miles before releasing the clerk unharmed, Perry police Lt. Ken Ezell has said.

The couple then drove to Florida and was involved in a high speed chase with law enforcement, officials said. Authorities lost sight of the couple and they took a family in Pensacola hostage before fleeing in the family’s pickup truck, Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan has said.

The Florida sheriff has said the chase culminated in a roughly 15-minute standoff that ended in gunfire. Fitzgerald was fatally shot after getting out of the truck as he appeared to be heading for an occupied home in Milton, a small town about 25 miles northwest of Pensacola.

Escambia County, Florida jail records say Harper is being held there on $1,160,000 bond. Jail records say she faces charges in Escambia and Pensacola County, Florida of robbery, kidnapping, false imprisonment, home invasion and vehicle theft.

Federal prosecutors in Alabama said crimes that contributed to the conspiracy charge against Harper that weren’t individually listed in the indictment include the robbery and kidnapping of the Georgia convenience store clerk, the robberies of a beach shop in Destin, Florida and a shoe store in Pensacola, and the home invasion and carjacking in Pensacola.

It’s unclear if Harper has an attorney.

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