Attempted homicide suspects captured in Smyth County during a traffic stop, State Police say

Virginia News

(File/MGN photo)

SMYTH COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — A traffic stop conducted by Virginia State Police in Smyth County Friday morning led to the arrest of two individuals wanted by the Richmond Police Department for a double-shooting.

At 8:52 a.m. on Friday, April 9, authorities say Trooper T.H. Pickel was operating radar on I-81 when the radar registered a 2005 Jeep Liberty traveling at 88 mph in the posted 70 mph zone.

According to police, the trooper activated his emergency lights and siren to initiate a  traffic stop. The Jeep reportedly complied and pulled off onto the shoulder near mile marker 38.

During the course of the traffic stop, Virginia State Police say the trooper confirmed the driver was 23-year-old Jamara Clairborne and the passenger was 22-year-old James A. Austin, both of whom had warrants for their arrest in the City of Richmond.

Clairborne and Austin were taken into custody without incident and are being held without bond at the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Abingdon, according to officials. 

Meanwhile, authorities say two juvenile passengers were turned over to the custody of the Department of Social Services.

Police say Clairborne and Austin were each arrested on the Richmond warrants for two felony counts of attempted murder and two felony counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. 

In addition, Virginia State Police charged Clairborne with reckless driving, improper vehicle registration, and not having a valid driver’s license.

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