A disabled military veteran who led authorities on a high-speed chase along westbound U.S. Route 40 last year pleaded guilty this week to fleeing and assault charges.
James P. Shannon III, 40, of West Jefferson, who served in the Persian Gulf War and suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, pleaded guilty in Madison County Common Pleas Court on Monday to failure to comply and aggravated assault in connection with a series of incidents in May 2013.
An additional charge of felonious assault was dismissed by the prosecutor’s office.
Shannon was ordered to undergo evaluations by several psychologists last year to determine his mental stability and ability to stand trial. But, it was a calm and capable Shannon that appeared before Visiting Judge Robert D. Nichols at Monday’s plea hearing.
Nichols ordered a pre-sentence investigation and set Shannon’s sentencing for Aug. 22.
The series of incidents that brought Shannon to Madison County began with a crash on Renner Road in western Franklin County about 2 p.m. on May 28. Shannon fled the scene, eventually causing another accident at state Route 142 and U.S. 40 near West Jefferson.
Shannon’s pick-up lost a tire, but continued westbound through the village.
It struck another vehicle on East Main Street, then clipped police officer Matt Stevers as he approached the scene on foot. Stevers was not seriously injured.
Other village police officers and deputies from two counties pursued the truck on U.S. 40 as it sped away on three tires. Speeds reached up to 100 mph during the pursuit, published reports said.
The chase ended when Shannon lost control of his disabled truck and struck a tree in Summerford.
He was treated for minor injuries and later released from a Columbus hospital.
Jane Beathard can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 1616 or via Twitter @JaneBeathard.