Man accused of pastor's death in police chase wants to stay in jail

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email
Posted by Phil Riggan - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - While sitting in the city jail, Darryl Harris crafted a letter to his mother. A one page, hand written note. In it he promises to dedicate his life to the memory of apostle Anthony Taylor.

Police say Harris, 26, fled a checkpoint in Henrico County and led police on a high speed chase through Church Hill. They say he blew through stop signs and eventually ran into Taylor.

Harris' mother read the letter at a vigil for the slain pastor.

Shelly Harris told the crowd, "I regret my driving at a high rate of speed. After I panicked as the police checkpoint."

A judge ruled today the letter wasn't protected under attorney client privilege and could be used in court.

Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Tracy Thorne-Begland said, "Any time a defendant makes a written statement about the crime as it unfolded and their state of mind. It's extremely relevant to guilt or innocence, and in this case it essentially amounts to a confession."

Harris' attorney says the letter speaks for itself and that Harris is owning up to what he did. Michael Morchower went on to say, "he's one of the finest young men I had the privileged of representing. He did not want to be bonded. He knows he deserves some punishment."

Morchower said Harris told him getting out of jail on bond is not an option. "He can work off part of his sentence in jail and secondly it would be a humongous amount of money. That the family does not have."

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