GATE CITY — A Tennessee man who led authorities on a miles-long pursuit in 2010 will spend the next three years in prison after being sentenced this week in Scott County Circuit Court.
David Smith, no age given, of Church Hill, Tenn., was given a 9-year sentence with 6 years suspended Tuesday by 30th Circuit Court judge John Kilgore.
Smith pleaded guilty in Nov. 2012 to a single count of felony eluding police and two felony counts of attempted assault on a law enforcement officer.
Virginia state sentencing guidelines called for Smith to serve just six months in custody.
Scott County Commonwealth’s Attorney Marcus McClung said he felt the tougher sentence will send a message to those who run from police during a traffic stop.
“We’ve been seeing a lot of eluding from police for the last three years now, it just seems to be a lot more commonplace,” McClung said. “What people aren’t realizing is that they are getting time for the fleeing as well.
“There have been a couple of these cases in the news lately, but even in the ones you don’t hear about they generally get up to 80 or 90 mph and they put not only law enforcement (in danger), but other people and themselves. So we’re seeing a lot of that, and I think you’re seeing the judges response in these cases by going over the guidelines.”
The charges against Smith date back to May 2010, when officers with the Scott County Sheriff’s Office attempted to pull his vehicle over during a routine traffic stop on Stanley Valley Road.
Smith reportedly sparked a 15-minute pursuit, striking the Scott County sheriff’s office cruisers attempting to apprehend him.
Smith topped speeds of 80 mph on Stanley Valley Road during the pursuit, according to police reports.