Driver in high-speed chase charged with murder after crash kills man

Updated: Jan. 14, 2020 at 1:52 PM EST
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HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - A Richmond man now faces a murder charge four months after the car he was driving during a high-speed police chase from a bank robbery crashed and killed another man.

Dorell Taylor Jr., 27, was originally charged in Chesterfield County with conspiracy to commit a felony, robbery and use of a firearm in commission of a felony, for his involvement in a bank robbery in September 2019. Online court records show Taylor’s charges in Chesterfield were set aside in December.

On Monday, a Henrico County Grand Jury formally indicted Taylor on one count of 2nd degree murder and felony eluding police.

The charges come after a second suspect, Antoine Deangelo Thomas, 36, was ejected from the SUV following a nearly 20 mile chase that started in Chesterfield and ended in Henrico.

“Taylor is charged with 2nd degree felony murder for unintentionally killing Antoine Deangelo Thomas while committing a felony (Felony Eluding)," said Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Huberman. "He is also charged with Felony Eluding.”

In September 2019, Chesterfield police were called for a robbery at Wells Fargo on Amberdale Drive at 9:51 a.m. Investigators said Thomas entered the bank, passed a note to the clerk demanding money and displayed a handgun. After receiving money, he fled the bank. No one was injured during the robbery.

Officers identified a suspect vehicle and a pursuit began which continued into Richmond before officers lost sight of the vehicle.

A Virginia State Police trooper located the vehicle, a black Nissan XTerra, on the Downtown Expressway in Richmond and the pursuit continued onto I-64.

The vehicle crashed and then overturned several times in the median.

NBC12 spoke to Taylor’s mother, following the crash, who says he called her during the police chase.

“This is the end, this is it," recounted Stephanie Minor. “‘What’s wrong? What’s wrong, Dorell?’ And that’s all he kept saying: ‘Mom, this is the end'. I could hear somebody in the background saying ‘Drive. Drive.’”

“If someone is pointing a gun at you making you drive a car, either he [Antoine Thomas] was going to kill Dorell, or the police was going to kill both of them," said Minor.

Minor says her son returned home from a 4 year jail sentence in 2017, and had been working and getting back on track. Minor says Taylor had recently been laid off from a construction job and was in the process of looking and applying for more work.

“That morning, his voice startled me. I knew something was wrong,” she explained. “He was in the process of trying to find another job, and this man was supposed to have one for him, and that’s where he thought he was going that morning--it didn’t happen.”

Taylor says her son is not perfect, but she says he is “not a murderer.”

“Bring my son home--I can’t understand. How can you charge him with this murder? I am having a hard time understanding that," she said. “I’m at a loss for words, because I am angry.”

He is currently being held at Riverside Regional Jail.

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