Man accused of shooting at Floyd County deputies in 2019 sentenced to 30 years

New River Valley News

(Photo: Courtesy New River Valley Regional Jail)

FLOYD COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — On Tuesday, a judge sentenced a man to 30 years in prison after he was convicted of multiple charges — including attempted capital murder — following a shootout with Floyd County deputies in 2019.

According to the Floyd County Commonwealth’s Attorney, at approximately 1 a.m. on Oct. 11, 2019, Deputy Harman with the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office was investigating suspicious activity when he spotted Samuel Wayne Hale’s vehicle and activated his emergency lights to initiate a stop. However, Hale accelerated and drove off.

Officials say Harman followed Hale’s vehicle until he went into an embankment and came to a stop. The deputy stopped and ordered Hale to exit the vehicle, but when got out, he immediately started firing a pistol at the deputy.

Gunshots reportedly hit Harman’s vehicle — just inches from where the deputy was standing — as Hale continued firing, eventually hitting Harman in the hand. As Harman took cover behind his vehicle, Hale restarted his vehicle and drove away.

As Harman resumed his pursuit, the Floyd County Commonwealth’s Attorney says Deputy Turman and Sgt. King responded to calls for help and were able to block Hale on Little River Road.

Finding himself trapped, Hale got out of his vehicle and started shooting at both Turman and King, hitting both of the officer’s vehicles multiple times, particularly on the driver’s side doors, according to officials. However, neither King nor Turman were injured.

After a brief shootout, authorities were reportedly able to get Hale to speak with them. Then, several hours later, Hale surrendered.

About 20 months later, on June 14, Hale was convicted for three counts of attempted capital murder, malicious wounding of a law enforcement officer, and the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, according to court records.

Then, on Tuesday, Dec. 14, officials say Judge Fleenor conducted a hearing in the Floyd County Circuit Court regarding Hale’s sentencing

At the sentencing hearing, the Floyd County Commonwealth’s Attorney says Hale’s attorney introduced evidence indicating the Hale had a drinking problem and that he may have been suicidal and wanted the deputies to kill him. The defense attorney also highlighted Hale’s lack of prior violent criminal history.

Meanwhile, the Commonwealth reportedly called eight witnesses, including the three deputies, one of the dispatchers, Sheriff Brian Craig, and family members of the deputies.

“In often emotional testimony, witnesses told the judge how the incident had affected them and their families,” the Floyd County Commonwealth’s Attorney wrote on Facebook.

After arguments by the prosecutor and the defense attorney, court records say Hale was sentenced to 83 years with 53 years suspended, leaving Hale with an active sentence of 30 years in prison. You can read the full breakdown of his sentencing below:

  • Three counts of attempted capital murder:
    • 60 year sentence (20 years for each count) with 45 years suspended (15 years for each count), for a total of 15 years
  • Malicious wounding of a law enforcement officer:
    • 20 year sentence with eight years suspended, for a total of 12 years
  • Use of a firearm in the commission of a felony (first offense):
    • Three year sentence

Hale is also set to spend 10 years on supervised probation upon his release.

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