A man who led King George County deputies on a wild, high-speed chase that included striking a deputy and a police vehicle with his car was convicted of attempted capital murder and other offenses Thursday.

Franklin Charron Murphy, 21, of King George was also convicted of malicious wounding of a police officer, eluding and destruction of property. He will be sentenced Dec. 5 in King George Circuit Court.

According to evidence and police reports, authorities received a 911 call on Jan. 24 about a man who was assaulting a woman in the parking lot of the Petco store in the Dahlgren area while trying to force her into a vehicle. The woman managed to break away as 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, who was already wanted in another local jurisdiction, sped off on State Route 218 going about 80 mph in a 45 mph zone.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Keri Gusmann said the pursuit went into a subdivision off Route 218, where the suspect was traveling 60 mph in a 25 mph zone. He then got back onto Route 218, where he passed two vehicles on double yellow lines while traveling at least 90 mph.

After Murphy wrecked his vehicle, Simmons yelled at him to show his hands and get out. Murphy then ran his vehicle into a ditch on the other side of the road before getting back onto the road.

Instead of speeding off again, Murphy backed into Simmons, striking the deputy with his open driver-side door. Simmons suffered a shoulder injury that required hospital treatment.

He then smashed into Simmons’ SUV in an apparent attempt to disable the police vehicle.

Other deputies were arriving by this point and boxed the suspect in. Murphy got out of his wrecked vehicle and tried to run, but was quickly apprehended by Lt. Kevin Brandts in the area of Igo Road. He has been in custody ever since.

After being arrested, Murphy made a statement to police in which he admitted to purposely ramming Simmons’ vehicle. He also stated that he would have “bust back” if he had a gun and was fired upon.

In exchange for his pleas, prosecutors dropped several charges against Murphy, including ones involving the Petco incident.

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Keith Epps: 540/374-5404

kepps@freelancestar.com

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