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Byrns indicted on charges stemming from high-speed chase that injured state trooper

October 3rd, 2013 5:35 pm by Wes Bunch

Byrns indicted on charges stemming from high-speed chase that injured state trooper

GATE CITY — A Kingsport man was indicted by a Scott County grand jury on more than a dozen felony charges Thursday for allegedly causing a high-speed chase earlier this year that left a Virginia State Police trooper severely injured.

Jason T. Byrns, of Kingsport, was indicted on a total of 17 charges, including attempted capital murder of a law enforcement officer, aggravated malicious wounding, several counts of assault and battery, and multiple drug-related charges.

The charges against Byrns are the result of an April chase and wreck that left VSP Trooper Jamie Lawson with a severe spinal injury and struggling to walk.

The Scott County commonwealth’s attorney declined to comment on details of the case.

The indictments stem from the April 9 pursuit that began when Byrns allegedly fled from a license checkpoint on East Carters Valley Road in the Skelton Bluff area of Scott County.

Byrns stands accused of leading local and state police on a miles-long pursuit that went through downtown Gate City before allegedly hitting speeds in excess of 100 mph on a straightaway just west of town.

During the pursuit, Byrns allegedly struck two VSP troopers, two Scott County Sheriff’s Office deputies and a Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles officer with his 2005 Kia Sedona.

At one point during the pursuit, Byrns allegedly rammed Lawson’s cruiser into a coal truck that was parked alongside Daniel Boone Road. The impact from the crash reportedly moved the truck back several feet from where it had been parked, witnesses said.

Following the wreck, Lawson was airlifted to Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport for treatment before being flown to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta for treatment for spinal injuries.

Lawson spent nearly three months at the Atlanta facility, where he received intensive treatment and rehabilitation from a team of doctors and specialists in an effort to help him walk again.

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