W.Va. man guilty in deputy's death
A West Virginia man was convicted on Thursday of third-degree murder in the Feb. 18 death of Monongalia County Deputy Sheriff Sgt. Michael Todd May, resulting from a violent vehicle collision.
Greene County District Attorney Marjorie J. Fox announced the verdict in a release, noting Jerod Alan Green, 36, of Morgantown also was convicted of homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, homicide by vehicle, fleeing or eluding a police officer and two counts of DUI.
A jury acquitted Green of the more serious charge of first-degree murder, Fox said.
Green was charged in connection with a high-speed police chase through the hills of northeastern West Virginia and into Greene County early Feb. 18.
Fox said Green, formerly of Oklahoma, was earlier involved in a hit-and-run accident in Morgantown.
Police initiated a traffic stop, but Green fled the scene, briefly dragging an officer who asked him to submit to a field sobriety test and turn off his vehicle's engine, Fox said.
The chase lasted nearly 30 minutes and stretched for nearly a dozen miles, police said.
May positioned his marked sport utility vehicle on Interstate 79 in Perry in Greene County, apparently hoping to stop the pursuit, police said.
Fox said Green attempted to avoid a head-on collision by entering I-79 from the berm. At the last minute, he turned right and struck May's vehicle.
Green was traveling 98 mph before the impact, Fox said.
May, a 10-year department veteran, died in Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown.
Green said he had been drinking and had taken four anti-anxiety drugs, including Lithium and Zoloft, according to police.
According to Oklahoma court records Green, who told police he was in West Virginia to work in the Marcellus shale gas drilling industry, had three convictions for drunken driving in Oklahoma and one for public intoxication. For the last conviction in 2007, he was sentenced to three years in an Oklahoma state prison.
Green's sentencing was deferred on Thursday, pending preparation of a pre-sentencing investigation.
Family photos show May, who was single, hunting, fishing and spending time with his young niece.
“(May) paid the ultimate price for upholding his oath to serve and protect the public,” Fox said.
Mary Pickels is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-5401 or firstname.lastname@example.org.