Scuffle with trooper brings four-month jail sentence

By Joe Beck

A Tennessee man has begun serving a four-month jail sentence after he was convicted Tuesday in Warren County Circuit Court on charges stemming from an Aug. 1 scuffle with a state trooper along Interstate 66.

Judge Dennis L. Hupp also sentenced Bradley Laurence Skelton, 26, to three years probation and a three-year suspended prison sentence after Skelton pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine and resisting arrest.

Skelton was initially charged with assaulting a law enforcement officer following his arrest. Authorities say Skelton fought with state trooper Terry L. Hilliker after Hilliker stopped at about the two-mile marker on I-66 to help Skelton with a disabled 2005 Toyota.

Hilliker stated that Skelton told him the car had run out of gas, according to a criminal complaint filed. When Hilliker returned to his car to call roadside assistance, he noticed Skelton starting to leave the scene on foot, according to the complaint. Skelton walked about 165 yards while Hilliker warned him repeatedly that walking along an interstate highway was unsafe and illegal.

After the arrival of another state trooper, Hilliker tried to arrest Skelton, but Skelton responded by pulling away and pushing Hilliker to the ground, the complaint states.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Layton said in an interview Friday that Skelton was found with cocaine after the troopers managed to subdue him.

Layton said he agreed to reduce the assault on a law enforcement officer charge, a felony, to resisting arrest, a misdemeanor, as part of a plea agreement.

“This wasn’t a situation where he punched out the officers,” Layton said of Skelton. “He made physical contact, which is inappropriate.”

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