Man guilty after high-speed chase on bridge tunnel

A man who was stopped for speeding on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel and who then led police on a high-speed chase pleaded guilty to multiple charges in Northampton County Circuit Court.

James Walker III, 26, of Petersburg, was stopped on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel for speeding. He was clocked driving 71 in a 55 MPH zone, police said.

When the officer asked him for his license and registration, Walker produced an automobile rental agreement in a woman’s name — although he was in the car alone, according to testimony.

At that point, the officer noticed the odor of marijuana coming from the car. The officer asked him if he smoked marijuana. Walker answered that he did not, but his sister did.

The officer asked Walker to exit the car. Instead of getting out, Walker drove off, soon reaching a speed of 110 miles per hour.

After leaving the bridge but before reaching the toll booths, Walker passed two cars abreast by driving past them on the shoulder of the road. At that point, the officer called off the chase for safety reasons.

Police were told to be on the lookout for the car. Walker was not found, but, during the chase, he threw a bag out of the car, police said.

Two weeks later a bag containing two guns was found on the side of the road. In it were a 9mm pistol and a .22 caliber pistol. The guns were checked for fingerprints and Walker’s fingerprints were on one of them, police said.

In a plea agreement with the Commonwealth, Walker pleaded guilty to two counts of reckless driving, felony eluding, driving on a suspended license and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

A charge of obstruction of justice was not prosecuted.

Judge W. Revell Lewis III accepted the agreement, ordered that a presentence investigation report be prepared and remanded Walker to jail to await sentencing.


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