WOODSTOCK — The Baltimore man who allegedly led police on a chase through the Shenandoah Valley in a U-Haul truck in 2020 had his trials in Shenandoah and Rockingham counties continued to October.

Umar Burley, 51, faces several charges in Shenandoah County, including three counts of attempted murder of a police officer stemming from a pursuit and arrest involving a Mount Jackson police officer, a Virginia State Police trooper and a state police first sergeant.

He also faces charges of using of a firearm in an attempted murder of a police officer, shooting an occupied marked law enforcement vehicle, using a firearm while operating a motor vehicle, brandishing a firearm, felony eluding, and two counts of failure to report property damage from a traffic crash.

Burley is accused of shooting his girlfriend in Harrisonburg, shooting at a law enforcement vehicle, and leading several agencies on a pursuit in December 2020 that ended in Woodstock.

Burley is charged in Rockingham County Circuit Court with felony attempted capital murder of a police officer, felony malicious wounding, felony attempted murder, felony shooting at an emergency vehicle, two felony counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony, felony eluding, and misdemeanor brandishing of a firearm.

A three-day Rockingham County jury trial scheduled for March 1 was continued to Oct. 12. Burley’s attorney Aaron Cook said by phone interview that his team needed more time to prepare for the case’s complex nature.

Burley faces up to life in prison for the charges

Cook explained that the Shenandoah County cases were continued to 10 a.m. Oct. 26 to see what happens in Rockingham County.

The investigation into Burley began at about 9:50 a.m. Dec. 10m 2020, when officers responded to a shooting at the Motel 6 on South Main Street in Harrisonburg. The victim, whose name hasn’t been released, was flown to the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville and later released.

Around 10 a.m., police say, a state trooper saw the suspect’s vehicle traveling north on Interstate 81 at the 254-mile marker in Rockingham County. The trooper pulled up to the truck and the driver shot out the patrol vehicle’s back window.

Burley fled the scene in a U-Haul truck on Interstate 81, leading police to Woodstock when state police vehicles forced him to stop on the south shoulder of the road in the 22000 block of U.S. 11.

State Police recovered a firearm at the scene.

According to The Baltimore Sun, Burley received a nearly $8 million settlement from the city of Baltimore in the Gun Trace Task Force police scandal. The newspaper reported that Burley served seven years in prison after officers planted drugs in his car.

Burley is being held without bond at the Rockingham County Jail.

Contact Charles Paullin at cpaullin@nvdaily.com

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