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Driver in high-speed chase found guilty

January 18, 2002

Driver in high-speed chase found guilty



By STACEY DANZUSO

chbbureau@innernet.net

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A Hagerstown man who led Pennsylvania police on a high speed chase across Franklin County and nearly struck an officer was found guilty Thursday of multiple charges of assault and reckless endangerment.

After more than two hours of deliberation, the jury found Terry Wayne Anderson, 43, guilty of two counts of aggravated assault, three counts of recklessly endangering and one count of fleeing.

Anderson will remain free on $50,000 bail until his Feb. 20 sentencing in Franklin County Court.

The incident began at 2:18 a.m. March 24, 2000, when state police Troopers Matthew Gordon and Alan Trees were on patrol along U.S. 30 in St. Thomas, Pa.

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The troopers spotted headlights on a vehicle stopped along the now-closed Tapeworm Road, an area where youths often pulled off to drink, Franklin County Assistant District Attorney David Rahauser said in his opening statement.

When the troopers approached, Anderson started his car and drove back to U.S. 30 at a high rate of speed, starting a nearly 50-mile chase that reached speeds of more than 100 mph and that lasted about 45 minutes, Trees said.

Shortly into the chase, Gordon and Trees caught up to Anderson in the dead end of a St. Thomas Township housing development. Anderson was able to turn around, striking the patrol car and causing it to spin counterclockwise, Trees said.

Anderson again stopped while northbound on Pa. 75. Gordon and Trees came to a stop to the left of Anderson's vehicle. Trees exited the patrol car and approached Anderson.

"We were looking dead in each other's eyes. He went in reverse and the front of the car came flying at me," Trees said.

Trees said he dived into the patrol car and shut the door before Anderson's vehicle passed, heading south on Pa. 75.

Under cross-examination by Public Defender Robert Trambley, Trees said Anderson could have driven forward or pulled to the right, but chose to back up toward the trooper.

"He saw me. He knew exactly where I was standing," Trees said. "He was trying to run me down."

With the aid of other officers from the Pennsylvania State Police and Chambersburg Police, Anderson eventually was stopped near where the chase started.

The prosecution called four other police officers involved in the chase to testify Thursday about the events. Anderson originally planned to testify, but changed his mind and the defense closed its case without presenting any witnesses.

Trambley told the jury his client was wrongly trying to escape the police, but was not attempting to harm the officers.

"Mr. Anderson was trying to get away and that's it," Trambley said.

He noted that Anderson eventually surrendered peacefully.

The jury found Anderson guilty of all charges against him except one count of aggravated assault.

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