Battalion chief pleads guilty

Published 10:56 pm Tuesday, March 13, 2018

A Suffolk Fire & Rescue battalion chief pleaded guilty on Monday to four charges stemming from an October vehicle accident.

Owen C. Thomasson III, 44, was charged with eight crimes in relation to the Oct. 14 crash. Four of them were not prosecuted as part of a plea agreement.

Thomasson

City spokeswoman Diana Klink said Tuesday that Thomasson is on administrative leave without pay pending an administrative investigation.

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A citizen called 911 at 11:02 p.m. that night to report that a pickup truck had struck a utility pole in the 800 block of Wilroy Road and left the scene.

Officers arrived and found two utility poles, two mailboxes and a bush had been struck. They located the unoccupied vehicle at the intersection of North Main Street and Constance Road.

Thomasson was charged following an investigation by Suffolk Police and review by the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.

According to a search warrant filed in Suffolk Circuit Court, Thomasson asked a friend following the crash to say that the friend had taken Thomasson home that night.

Thomasson on Monday pleaded guilty to destruction of property with intent and obstruction of justice. He also pleaded guilty to two reduced charges — reckless driving, reduced from first-offense drive while intoxicated, and obstructing justice, reduced from making a false report to police.

McConnell

Two other charges of destruction of property with intent and two charges of failure to stop at the scene of an accident were not prosecuted.

Thomasson was sentenced to three years and three months in jail, but all of the time was suspended. He will also have his license suspended for one year, be on unsupervised probation for two years and be required to take an alcohol program.

Rebecca D. McConnell, 44, who was a passenger during the accident, also pleaded guilty on Monday to failing to report an accident and obstruction of justice. Her two-year sentence was suspended in its entirety.