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Trial delayed in police chase case to review video

November 29, 2011|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com

The trial of a Mississippi truck driver charged with leading police on a methamphetamine-fueled chase through three states in 2010 was delayed Tuesday in Washington County Circuit Court.

Assistant Public Defender Carl Creeden said the trial was continued until next week because there are videos of the pursuit taken from Maryland State Police dashboard cameras that neither he nor the prosecution have seen.

The continuance was needed to allow the state and defense to review the videos, he said.

Thomas Lee McNeel, 43, of Pontotoc, Miss., was scheduled for trial on charges stemming from a Dec. 20, 2010, pursuit that began near Inwood, W.Va., on Interstate 81 and went through Maryland before ending near Greencastle, Pa., with the truck disabled.

Charges in Maryland include four counts each of first- and second-degree assault, as well as failing to stop after an accident, fleeing and eluding police and several traffic violations, according to court records.

He allegedly aimed the tractor-trailer at Maryland state troopers and Washington County sheriff’s deputies, one in a vehicle and three on foot, as he headed north on I-81, the charging documents said.

McNeel was also charged by law-enforcement authorities in West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

McNeel pleaded guilty earlier this year in Franklin County Court of Common Pleas to charges of driving under the influence, fleeing and eluding police and possession of narcotics, court records said. He was sentenced to three days to 23 months in jail, the records said.

A grand jury indicted McNeel on related charges in October.

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