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Attempted murder of officer alleged
Axton man is indicted
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
An Axton man was indicted Monday in Martinsville on one count of attempted capital murder of a law enforcement officer, according to court records.
Rashawn Bernard Valentine, 21, 7121 Axton Road, Axton, was indicted on the charge in connection with a Feb. 14 incident, court records showed.
Martinsville Police Chief Mike Rogers said police officers had received information that a man allegedly was wanted on federal firearms charges.
“We had a description of his vehicle, a 1991 white Chevy Caprice with North Carolina tags,” Rogers said.
Martinsville Police Officer Marcus Gravely saw a similar vehicle in the west Fayette Street area, verified the tag number and recognized the driver, Rogers said.
The officer then got in a pursuit with the Caprice, which traveled down Pine Hall and Yorkshire roads and onto Carver Court, which is a dead end, Rogers said.
The Caprice “turned off of the road in Carver Court into a yard, and Officer Gravely assumed the suspect was going” to flee on foot, the police chief said.
Gravely got out of his patrol car and, “as he was running to apprehend the suspect, (the Caprice accelerated), came around a tree, and almost struck Officer Gravely,” Rogers alleged.
The Caprice then pulled back out onto Carver Court, and Gravely got back into his patrol car to continue the pursuit back up Yorkshire to Pine Hall, where Henry County sheriff’s deputies who had responded tried to block the Caprice in, Rogers said.
The Caprice “got by them, and went down some side roads” and into Ridgeway, turning onto Virginia/North Carolina 87 toward Eden, N.C., the chief said.
At one point, the Caprice “ran up an embankment and wrecked,” Rogers said.
Valentine was taken into custody after an alleged brief foot pursuit, Rogers added.
An indictment is not an indication of guilt. It is a grand jury’s determination that enough evidence exists to hold a trial.