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South Carolina Man Admits to First-Degree Murder of Virginia Police Officer in 2021 Shooting Incident

Courtroom plea agreement scene

South Carolina Man Pleads Guilty to First-Degree Murder in Virginia Police Officer’s Shooting Death

In Wise, Virginia, a man originally from South Carolina has opted to plead guilty to first-degree murder in connection with the 2021 shooting death of a local police officer. The accused, Michael Donivan White, who hails from Cross, South Carolina, made his admission of guilt in the Wise County Circuit Court yesterday. The charge against him relates to the fatal shooting of Officer Michael Chandler from the Big Stone Gap police department.

The Incident

Officer Michael Chandler, who was 29 at the time of the incident, was fatally shot while responding to a call just outside the Big Stone Gap limits back on November 13, 2021. He succumbed to the injuries later that evening. Following the incident, police apprehended the suspect, White, from Tennessee.

The Charges

Originally, White was confronting a total of 13 charges, the two most severe ones being aggravated murder of a police officer and felony murder. However, a plea deal was negotiated in which the accused agreed to plead guilty to the lesser charge of first-degree murder. In exchange, the prosecution dropped its pursuit of a life sentence for White, opting instead for a term of 40 to 100 years in prison. This decision was taken in consultation with Wise County Commonwealth’s Attorney Brett Hall.

Considering the Victim’s Family

In making decisions regarding White’s plea agreement and sentence, the prosecuting attorney’s office took into account the sentiments and thoughts of the victim’s family. Specifically, they consulted with the widow of slain Officer Chandler, Natasha Chandler, as well as the current police chief of Big Stone Gap, Chief Steve Hamm.

Upcoming Federal Charges

In addition to the state-level charges and case occurring in Virginia, White is also facing federal charges in connection with Officer Chandler’s murder. Federal prosecutors and the office of Wise County Commonwealth’s Attorney are coordinating efforts to secure a similar plea agreement for these charges. The sentencing for White is set to take place on August 21.

Reactions to the Verdict

The news of the guilty plea has sent tremors through the communities affected by this crime. As the families, friends, and colleagues of the slain officer prepare for the sentencing of his killer, their hopes are now pinned on receiving justice and finding some sort of closure to this heinous incident that shook their lives


South Carolina Man Admits to First-Degree Murder of Virginia Police Officer in 2021 Shooting Incident

HERE Irmo
Author: HERE Irmo

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