Man facing life in prison

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 3, 2005

The man who led police on a multi-city, high-speed chase that ended in Lake Meade in May 2004 could be spending the rest of his life in prison.

As the jury selection was under way for his trial in Suffolk Circuit Court Wednesday, William Elton Gray, 33, of Virginia Beach pleaded guilty to 10 of the 16 charges file against him: four counts each of hit and run and felony destruction of state property and one count each of possession of cocaine and possession of marijuana.

In a plea agreement struck with prosecutors, Gray pleaded guilty to one count of malicious wounding of a law enforcement officer and one combined count of attempted malicious wounding of a police officer.

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As part of the deal, a charge of attempted capital murder of a police officer was dropped, said Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Matthew Glassman.

Gray could receive up to 100 years in prison, he added. Gray will remain in Western Tidewater Regional Jail until his Jan. 25, 2006 sentencing.

The state police officers injured during the pursuit agreed to the plea agreement before it was offered, said Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Marie Walls.

“They are all satisfied with the resolution,” said Walls. “This brings some closure for the law enforcement officers and their families.”