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Man pleads guilty in Scott County chase, crash that seriously injured trooper

November 20th, 2013 11:53 am by Wes Bunch

Man pleads guilty in Scott County chase, crash that seriously injured trooper

Jason T. Byrns

GATE CITY — A Kingsport man pleaded guilty in Scott County court Wednesday morning to multiple felonies stemming from a high-speed chase earlier this year that left a Virginia State Police trooper with permanent spinal cord injuries.

Jason T. Byrns, of Kingsport, pleaded guilty to over a dozen charges, including aggravated malicious wounding of a law enforcement officer, three counts of assault and battery of a law enforcement officer, four counts of felony obstruction of property among others.

Byrns also pleaded no contest to several drug possession with intent to distribute charges.

The charges against Byrns are the result of an April 2013 chase and wreck that left VSP Trooper Jamie Lawson with a severe spinal injury and struggling to walk.

Byrns, who faces a maximum punishment of life plus 64 years in prison, is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 29 by Scott County Circuit Court Judge John Kilgore. Scott County Commonwealth's Attorney Marcus McClung said his office will seek the maximum amount of incarceration for Byrns.

"We're pleased for Jamie that this is going onto the next phase," McClung said. "We believe Jamie and his family received a life sentence when this occurred on April 9, 2013, and we certainly feel Mr. Byrns deserves the same."

For more on this story read Thursday's print edition of the Times-News or the expanded e-edition.

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