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King George police chase ends with 10-year prison sentence

King George police chase ends with 10-year prison sentence


A man who struck a deputy and a police vehicle before starting a wild high-speed chase in King George County last year was ordered Thursday to serve 10 years in prison.

County resident Franklin C. Murphy, 22, was sentenced in King George Circuit Court to 50 years, with 40 years suspended as part of an agreement worked out by prosecutor Charlie Clark and defense attorney Andy Cornick.

Murphy had previously pleaded guilty to attempted capital murder, malicious wounding of a police officer, eluding and destruction of property. Clark said that although Murphy engaged in “extremely outrageous” behavior, he felt the 10-year active sentence was reasonable.

According to the evidence, a series of incidents involving Murphy took place on Jan. 24, 2019. It started when police received a 911 call alleging Murphy was assaulting a woman in the the parking lot of the Petco store in Dahlgren while trying to force her into a vehicle.

The woman, Murphy’s estranged girlfriend, had broken free by the time deputies arrived. Deputy James Simmons spotted Murphy’s vehicle a short time later in the area of Caledon and Indiantown roads and tried to stop it. Murphy drove away at high speed.

During the ensuing pursuit, Clark said, Murphy went as fast as 90 mph as he traveled along windy State Route 218 and through subdivisions. He passed at least two vehicles on double yellow lines.

Murphy eventually wrecked his vehicle on Route 218 and was ordered to get out of the car and show his hands. He then ran his vehicle into a ditch on the other side of the road before getting onto the roadway again. He then backed into Simmons, striking the deputy with his open door. Simmons suffered a shoulder injury that required treatment at a hospital. Murphy then smashed his vehicle into Simmons’ SUV in an apparent attempt to disable it, according to Clark.

Other deputies arrived and boxed Murphy in. He got out of the vehicle and ran, but was apprehended a short time later in the area of Igo Road.

Clark said Murphy confessed after being taken into custody. In exchange for his guilty pleas, other charges were dropped.

Keith Epps: 540/374-5404

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