Vehicle chase on I-66 brings seven-month sentence

^ Posted Dec. 7

By Joe Beck

A Woodbridge man who led a state trooper on a chase of speeds exceeding 110 mph was sentenced in Warren County Circuit Court on Monday to more than five years incarceration, most of it suspended.

Authorities said in court records that Lamar Antione McNeil, 27, crashed into large rocks, a barrel and an unoccupied parked vehicle around a gas station during the chase at around 12:30 a.m. July 7. The collisions damaged McNeil's 2003 Buick seriously enough to stop his vehicle, according to the criminal complaint filed by state trooper Terry L. Hilliker.

The accident left an unidentified male passenger in the car with injuries that required transport by ambulance to Warren Memorial Hospital, the complaint states.

McNeil's sentence followed the terms set forth in a plea agreement reached between his attorney, assistant public defender William C. Olien, and Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Bryan C. Layton.

A grand jury initially charged McNeil with felony eluding, felony hit and run and reckless driving by speed, offenses carrying a total jail and prison sentence of 16 years. McNeill agreed to plead guilty to all three charges and accept a sentence of five years in prison and three months in jail with sentence suspensions that left him with seven months of actual incarceration. The sentence also includes three years probation.

The criminal complaint states the chase began at about 12:20 a.m. when Hilliker's radar clocked McNeil's eastbound car traveling at 101 mph in a 70 mph zone on Interstate 66 at mile marker four.

Hilliker said he activated his lights and siren but "McNeil failed to stop and continued to elude me by traveling at speeds in excess of 110 mph, changing lanes numerous times and passing vehicles on the shoulder of the road."

The complaint states that McNeil took exit 13 off I-66 and continued to try to flee by parking in grass at the Exxon station at Va. 79 and U.S. 55 intersection. As Hilliker approached the parked car, McNeil took off at a high speed before striking the rocks, barrel and unoccupied vehicle that damaged his car, the complaint states.

McNeil underwent a psychiatric evaluation in October to judge his fitness for trial. Philip E. Pate, a forensic psychologist from Winchester, said McNeill dropped out of high school in his junior year and had been "self-employed in odd jobs for 'at least three years' by the time he was arrested" in Warren County.

Pate concluded McNeil had "no significant impairments or inadequacies" and that he was "competent to stand trial."

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com











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