UPDATE: Man charged following deadly police chase


(Image: Courtesy MGN Online)

UPDATE 4/17/19 8:30A.M. A West Virginia man pleaded guilty to a felony charge related to a 2017 police chase that killed Bluefield, WV police officer Lt. Aaron Crook.

Prosecutor George Sitler confirmed Joseph Smith pleaded guilty Tuesday, April 16, 2019, to fleeing in a vehicle and causing bodily injury. He is expected to be sentenced in June.

There are new developments in the case of a Bluefied, WV Police Officer killed during a chase on May 30, 2017.  On Dec. 21, Prosecuting Attorney George Sitler announced the charges against one of the suspects in the case are being dropped.

Sitler said Morgan Smith Walker, 27, admitted at the time that he was the driver of the vehicle during the chase which ended with the death of Lt. Aaron Crook.  

He was charged with fleeing an officer resulting in death, fleeing while driving in an impaired state, obstructing and driving while impaired causing death.  

Despite the confession on the night of the incident, Mr. Sitler said the evidence did not support the charges.  According to the prosecutor, body camera footage clearly showed Walker could not have been the driver.

Charges are still pending against 24-year-old Joseph Smith.  He is scheduled to be tried in front of Judge Mark Wills on Jan. 16, 2018.

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