Paul Tripp Takes Police on High Speed Chase after Recent Prison Release, Crashes in Hazelwood

Pine Lawn Police said Tripp, a man convicted of dumping Valerie Butler's dead body, drove up to 130 mph trying to escape the police.

A Florissant man who was just released from jail in September is accused of leading police on a drunken high-speed chase Thursday morning that ended in Hazelwood. 

Authorities say Paul Alan Tripp, 28, sped away from them during a traffic stop around 3:00 a.m.

Pine Lawn Police chased Tripp on Interstate 70 to I-270 and then to Highway 370 before he crashed in the City of Hazelwood at Aubuchon and Missouri Bottom Roads.

Pine Lawn Police Officer John Bernsen said Tripp drove at speeds near 130 mph before he crashed into farmland and was then taken into custody.

He was charged with Felony DWI, resisting arrest and Careless and Imprudent Driving charges. Bail was set at $40,000.

This is reportedly his fourth DWI. Authorities say they plan to ask that his parole be revoked.

Tripp was on parole after serving a prison term for abandonment of a corpse.

. He admitted to dumping his friend, Valerie Butler's body, who had overdosed on heroin

He pleaded guilty to the charge in January 2012.

Butler, 25, of St. Ann, was seen leaving a Florissant bar called Handlebars with two men, one of whom was identified by authorities as Tripp. Butler's body was found several weeks later near Prouhet Farm Road in Bridgeton. The medical examiner said Butler died of acute heroin intoxication.

While Butler was missing reports of her being spotted in Maryland Heights surfaced and the Maryland Heights Police told Patch a report was taken regarding a sighting.

The field where Tripp was arrested Thursday is less than a two mile drive from the field where Butler's body was found two years ago.

In addition to the two-year sentence in the corpse abandonment case, Tripp was serving a a five-year sentence from December 2010 for drug possession with intent to distribute conviction. The sentences were to run consecutively and included time served that began July 26, 2011.

Read more about Tripp and his involvement in Valerie Butler's case:

  • Body Identified as Valerie Butler
  • Paul Tripp Sentenced to Two Years in Valerie Butler Case
  • Florissant Man's Pretrial Conference Continued
  • Probation Revoked for Florissant Man
  • Man Accused of Dumping Body Gets New Court Date
  • Court Date Planned for the Man Accused of Abandoning the Corpse of a Maryland Heights Woman
  • Preliminary Hearing Date Set for Paul Tripp
  • Facts Support Arrest in Valerie Butler Case
  • Florissant Police Make Arrest in Connection with Valerie Butler Case
joe Fitzgerald January 11, 2013 at 10:21 PM
John Smith January 12, 2013 at 04:16 AM
If this person/criminal was sentenced to two years in Feb 2012 and it was to run consecutive to a five year sentence handed to him earlier; why is he on the streets? He only began any incarceration in 2011. Is our judicial system this fowl ?? I believe there should be rehabilitation for addicts and felons - but it needs to be a system designed with common sense and NOT DOLLARS !!! This guy wishes to be considered a gangster and wishes incarceration and condemnation that way we can support and watch after him.
RM January 13, 2013 at 08:49 PM
This guy definitely has a problem and our legal system can't seem to find the solution....when are they going to start making the punishments fit the crimes and sticking with it. He must have a GREAT lawyer but on a lighter side, I don't know what he was driving but does anyone really think that a Pine Lawn police car could attain 130 MPH???????
KT January 21, 2013 at 09:42 PM
When we were kids his mother worked for a lawyer as far as I remember. Also I heard he gave up information on other people who the District Attorney would consider more valuable than him. He has been in and out of trouble since middle school and is unlikely to ever actually change. Kids didn't do it, prison didn't do it, nothing will.
NEVERGIVEIN May 20, 2013 at 09:27 AM


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »