Suspect in deadly chase in Midlothian goes to court - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Suspect in deadly chase in Midlothian charged with felony homicide

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George Van Orden George Van Orden
CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) -

The list of charges against 23-year-old Karon Porter now includes murder -- that news following the deadly police chase on Midlothian Turnpike. 

Police say he hit three cars near Robious Road Friday night, and attempted to carjack a car with a child inside. A man in one of those cars, 73-year-old George Van Orden, was killed. 

Van Orden was a VMI graduate, a decorated marine- from a line of marine leaders. Family members say he looked like he would get better, but took a turn. 

"Evidently this guy blew through a stoplight and hit my dad, sideswiped two cars and then hit my dad broadside and he ended up dying of his injuries," said his son George. 

George Van Orden Jr. followed in his dad's footsteps, becoming a marine, and he says' he's forgiven the man he blames for his dad's death. 

"But that doesn't mean I don't want to see him prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," he said. 

We understand his wife, Marina, who was also in the car - is home now. She's in a wheelchair with extensive injuries, but is expected to recover. We're told the couple was on the way home from dinner with their daughter when the accident happened. 

We know this isn't the first time Porter has been in trouble with the law. We've uncovered documents that indicate he's assaulted an officer and had his license suspended before for reckless driving. We found two pending charges- for more driving offenses in a separate incident. We've also learned he may have been on opiates the night this crash happened. 

In 2009 Karon Porter answered to reckless driving charges, and driving on a suspended license. 

In a letter to a judge in 2010, Porter apologizes, and asks a judge for a second chance to be with his daughter, promising the judge if granted, he would never see Porter again. But Porter is already back in court. He faces even more charges stemming from Friday night's chase. 

Court papers say when Porter was caught; he had a plastic baggie in his mouth containing a white substance, which he swallowed. The report also states Porter said it was hydrocodone, and that he later said he is prescribed opiates and takes them every couple of hours. He said he had taken some pain medication that day. 

Police reported his eyes were glassy, watery, and his pupils were dilated. Papers also say his speech was mumbled and slurred, at times rambling. 

Porter's mother was in court for his video arraignment. She wouldn't talk about the specifics of the case, but said "He's a good person. A very good person. He would never intentionally hurt no one." She also said she was sorry George Van Orden died in the accident. 

Karon Porter's attorney, John Rockecharlie, hasn't been able to meet with his client in person yet about the charges, but said this after court, "We're still trying to ascertain exactly what happened. We don't know. I haven't had a chance to see my client yet, so it's still very early on in this very tragic situation." 

Porter's mother says she's sorry about what happened and that she plans to stand by her son. She also claims there was nothing wrong with her car, which is the reason state police tried to pull him over in the first place on Friday. 

Porter is due back in court at the end of May.

There will be a memorial service for Van Orden  at 2 p.m. Friday at Bennett Funeral Home. That is located on Ashbrook Parkway in Chesterfield. Visitation starts at 1 p.m.

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