Henrico County to meet with Richmond about deadly chase

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - We have new information from Henrico's County Manger about how the county and Richmond are taking a look at their police chase policies. This as we learn more about the suspect who sparked last week's crash that killed a beloved pastor.

Henrico County Manager Virgil Hazelett spoke to NBC12 before he attended a community tribute for Pastor Anthony Taylor.

Hazelett is planning to set up a meeting soon with Richmond city officials. Meanwhile, the suspect's attorney revealed new details about his client including why he was running from police.

It was standing room only, at United House of Prayer For All People. Henrico's County Manager and Police Chief joined the congregation in celebrating Pastor Taylor's life. As a community mourns, the police chase controversy leads to talks between Richmond and Henrico officials.

"We all are very concerned about the loss of life or an accident where people are hurt, that goes without saying, but we are also concerned about catching criminals; those that violate the law, those that take life into their own hands," said Henrico County Manager, Virgil Hazelett.

Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones wants a task force to address communication concerns and guidelines for checkpoints and pursuits.

"There's always a need for communication, that's one reason the mayor is calling the meeting, that's not a problem at all," said Hazelett.

26 year old Darryl Harris is charged with involuntary manslaughter. He apologized through his mother.

"I regret my driving at a high rate of speed after I panicked as the police checkpoint," said Shelly Harris as she read a letter written by her son to mourners Tuesday.

"Why did he panic? Because he had a small quantity of marijuana in the vehicle," said Harris' attorney Michael Morchower.

Prosecutors called Harris' apology letter a confession

"They're probably too embarrassed to have Henrico set up a road block without notifying - giving the city didn't notify law enforcement," said Morchower.

Morchower says his client isn't a felon and wasn't in violation of any traffic offenses. Harris faces more charges.

"They want to bury him. They want to put him under the jail. That's what they're trying to do for an accident that was caused by the police," said Morchower.

The mayor put a two week deadline on the task force review. Harris is expected in traffic court in mid-April. Taylor will be laid to rest on Saturday.

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