An Oklahoma man who led area police on a high-speed chase in 2019 that entered at least five different localities was ordered Monday to serve two years in prison for his actions in Stafford County.
Steven Craig Martin, 54, of Spiro, Okla., was sentenced in Stafford Circuit Court to 15 years, with all but two years suspended. He was convicted of felony eluding and two counts of assault on a law-enforcement officer.
Martin was also ordered to make $9,285 in restitution for police cruisers he rammed in Stafford during the pursuit.
According to the evidence presented by prosecutor Sandra Park, Virginia State Police trooper L. Batten Jr. responded to Interstate 95 in northern Caroline County at 2:52 a.m. on Dec. 28, 2019, in response to a driver in a red pickup doing 110 mph while “dangerously” eluding police.
Park said the driver ignored flashing lights, continued to flee at high speeds and went into all northbound lanes as well as the shoulder.
Park said Martin was endangering the troopers and other motorists with his actions. By the time the pursuit reached the Courthouse exit in Stafford, troopers had used tire deflation devices and containment maneuvers in an unsuccessful attempt to end the chase.
Martin struck several cruisers near the courthouse exit. He knocked the bumper off Batten’s cruiser and hit another trooper’s cruiser hard enough to blow the left front tire, causing that trooper to bow out of the pursuit.
Martin struck another cruiser several times at the Garrisonville exit before continuing into Prince William County.
Martin has already received a suspended sentence on an eluding conviction in Caroline County and seven months to serve on an assault on a law-enforcement officer conviction in Prince William. Charges in Spotsylvania County were dropped.
It was not clear why Martin was in the Fredericksburg area. He was wanted at the time on a vehicle theft charge in Oklahoma and had just been placed on probation there for other convictions, Park said.
Keith Epps: 540/374-5404