W.Va. woman in high-speed Fayette chase sentenced to 7 to 14 years
A West Virginia woman who fired a handgun at a state police car during a high-speed chase in Fayette County was sentenced on Friday to seven to 14 years in prison.
Jessica Phillips, 28, of Buckhannon declined to comment before President Judge John F. Wagner Jr. imposed the sentence.
She did object, however, to the possibility that she might have to pay for repairs to a home that was damaged when her accomplice barricaded himself inside and shot himself.
The chase led to the crash of the truck Phillips was riding in, a nine-hour standoff with police and the suicide of Phillips' fiancé, Donald Ray Brown, 53.
Phillips said after her Feb. 27 plea hearing that her downfall was fueled by a methamphetamine addiction.
On Sept. 27, police said, a state conservation officer discovered Phillips and Brown with a mobile meth lab near the Youghiogheny River in Dunbar Township, with pots, chemicals and tubing used to produce the drug, police said.
The discovery escalated to the police chase that ended with the suicide in an unoccupied North Union home.
Phillips pleaded guilty to attempted homicide, aggravated assault, conspiracy, receiving stolen property, reckless endangerment, drug and other charges. The sentence includes prison time for a case in which Phillips pleaded guilty to assaulting a corrections officer in the Fayette County Prison.
Although the house involved in the standoff sustained $67,675 in damage, Wagner did not impose restitution for Phillips to pay the homeowner's insurance company that bore the cost.
Wagner said the district attorney's office did not have the necessary paperwork prepared in time for Friday's hearing. The office can file the paperwork later, and a hearing will be held, Wagner said.
But Phillips balked.
“I was not inside the home,” Phillips said. “I came out. He's the one who stayed inside.”
Phillips surrendered to police shortly after she and Brown entered the house on Center Avenue.
Police used bullhorns and enlisted Phillips to ask Brown to come out.
Officers lobbed tear gas through the windows and eventually used a robot to break down the front door. Brown was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot in the head.
Liz Zemba is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Police in Fayette County seek witnesses to motorcycle accident
- Fayette man challenges charges filed by Connellsville police officer, now under indictment
- Gulf War veteran restores Uniontown mansion
- Fayette County area graduates gather for Golden Reunion
- Vietnam vets from Fayette recall service — and those who didn’t make it home
- Connellsville board set to tackle budget
- Connellsville building owner uses graffiti to point out unsightly demolition debris
- Man convicted in Redstone robbery plans to appeal sentence
- Dunbar Township MedExpress plans open house for Tuesday
- Graffiti points to rubble
- Connellsville WWII veteran recalls close calls as a bomber navigator