Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

April 22, 2014

Man who attempted to strike state police trooper with a stolen vehicle enters plea deal


Bluefield Daily Telegraph

PRINCETON — A Mercer County man who stole a truck and attempted to hit a state police trooper with the vehicle pleaded guilty Tuesday to an attempt to commit first-degree murder charge.

Richard Anthony Hart, 46, of Matoaka, entered the plea deal before Circuit Court Judge William Sadler. The state agreed to dismiss grand larceny, DUI and fleeing while DUI charges as part of the plea agreement.

Hart faces a possible sentence of three to 15 years in prison for the attempt to commit first-degree murder charge, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney George Sitler said. The plea agreement was accepted by Sadler, who set sentencing in the case for May 19.

The incident began in October 2013 after troopers responded to a report of a stolen vehicle in the Spanishburg area. Cpl. P.H. Shrewsbury was in Lashmeet at the time and cut across Rich Creek Road. He encountered the stolen vehicle and the suspect standing outside of it. Shrewsbury knew the man and called him by name. Hart then jumped in the vehicle and swerved at Shrewsbury and tried to hit him, according to earlier reports in the Daily Telegraph.