Year in jail for police pursuit
By Blake Belden, staff writer
Jul 29, 2014, 15:17
COLONIAL HEIGHTS — A local man with a history of serious charges will serve one year in prison for assaulting a police officer and evading authorities in Colonial Heights.
Alpheious Jones, 25, of Petersburg, pleaded guilty to two felony charges in Colonial Heights Circuit Court on July 14, for which he was sentenced to a total of 10 years imprisonment, with nine years suspended.
Virginia law requires a mandatory minimum sentence of six months for the assault and battery of a police officer.
Jones, who is currently being held in Petersburg City Jail, has faced more serious charges in the past. Seven different felony charges were dropped in Petersburg, including a first degree murder charge in 2010 and an attempted first degree murder charge in 2013, as indicated by online records.
The most recent Colonial Heights charges came from an incident on Sept. 8, 2013.
The Special Operations Unit in Colonial Heights had initiated an undercover drug deal, for which Jones was the driver of a Lexus to meet up for the illegal deal, as stated in a summary of evidence by prosecutor Adam Lantz.
As the drug bust was being orchestrated, Jones remained in the vehicle, at which point police officers positioned their vehicles in front of and behind the Lexus in an attempt to prevent Jones from escaping, according to the prosecution.
Seeing this, Jones backed up, striking the vehicle behind him, and when Officer Travis Karr tried to “effectuate a stop,” Jones accelerated and Karr “had to jump out of the way to avoid being struck by the car,” Lantz said, emphasizing that this is where the assault charge came into play.
Jones fled the scene in the vehicle, and police officers followed after him clearly signaling for Jones to stop, which turned into a vehicle pursuit “at a high rate of speed” down Suffolk Avenue, on to Interstate 95 and to Wythe Street in Petersburg before the pursuit was concluded, Lantz said.
Originally indicted on five charges, the plea agreement dismissed three of the five charges, including a felony failure to appear in court, a subsequent felony offense of possession of drugs with intent to distribute and a misdemeanor third offense of driving on a suspended license charge.
For the assault and battery of a police officer, Jones was sentenced to five years with four years suspended, and he was sentenced to five years with all of that time suspended for evading police officers.
Both suspensions are in effect for a period of 10 years, with the requirements that Jones pay court costs, keep the peace and be of good behavior and be placed on indefinite supervised probation upon his release.
Outside of Colonial Heights, Jones has a history within the Petersburg court system. He currently has a felony charge pending in Petersburg Circuit Court for the manufacture of a controlled substance, according to online court records.
Jones is also on probation in Petersburg for the distribution of cocaine in 2010, for which he was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, with nine years, three months suspended, according to the online court database.
Judge Steven McCallum warned Jones that he faces a revoked suspension for this sentence after pleading guilty in Colonial Heights.