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Suspect in Scott County police chase has hearing delayed

Wes Bunch • Apr 11, 2013 at 5:40 AM

GATE CITY — A Kingsport man who led Virginia State Police on a high-speed chase that left two troopers injured had his arraignment hearing postponed until next week during an appearance Thursday in Scott County General District Court.

Jason T. Byrns, 33, of Kingsport is facing charges of attempted capital murder of a law enforcement officer, felony evading arrest, possession of Schedule II drugs, possession of schedule IV drugs, possession of marijuana and possession of drugs with intent to distribute as a result of Tuesday's incident.

Byrns was originally scheduled to be arrainged Thursday morning by Judge Larry Lewis, but had his hearing moved to next Tuesday due to his lack of an attorney, court officials said.

One of the officers injured in the wreck, Trooper James Lawson, was still being treated Thursday afternoon at Holston Valley Medical Center. A Wellmont spokesman said Lawson was still listed in fair condition.

Authorities said Byrns ran from VSP troopers on East Carters Valley Road before leading local and state officers on a miles long chase that ended on Daniel Boone Road north of Gate City.

Byrns allegedly drove through downtown Gate City at speeds between 55 and 70 mph before topping 100 mph just west of town.

State police said he hit several VSP and Scott County Sheriff's Office cruisers before intentionally wrecking Lawson's vehicle. Authorities said the chase ended when Byrns lost control of his vehicle and wrecked in a creek.

Authorities said prescription drugs, marijuana and an undisclosed amount of cash were found during a search of Byrns' car. Byrns also allegedly told authorities he did not have a valid driver's license.

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