Man Charged with Attempted Capital Murder after Hit-and-Run - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Man Charged with Attempted Capital Murder after Hit-and-Run

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A Staunton man has been charged with two counts of attempted capital murder after a wild ride Sunday night.

According to the Augusta County Sheriff's Office, 33-year-old Derek Powell faces two charges of attempted capital murder, felony hit and run charges, reckless driving, grand larceny, strangulation and more after an alcohol-fueled rampage Sunday night.

Investigators in Waynesboro say around 7:00 p.m. Sunday night, Powell assaulted his girlfriend and stole her car, a 2003 Jeep Cherokee.

A few minutes later, Virginia State Police say the Jeep was involved in a crash on Route 250 where it made an illegal u-turn and crashed into a U-Haul truck. The Jeep fled the scene.

Then, Augusta County deputies responded to a call of a man driving erratically along Route 11 in Folly Mills south of Staunton.  The Jeep was spotted behind an abandoned building in the area. They say two citizens blocked the vehicle behind a building. When Powell tried to escape, police shot out his tires but he was able to flee from deputies.    

Police say as it sped onto Route 11, the Jeep was involved in another hit and run with a 2007 Nissan Altima.  Deputies were able to force the Jeep off the road and Powell was arrested.  

 No one was injured in the crashes.

Waynesboro Police Department Press Release

The Waynesboro Police Department has charged Derek Steven Powell, 33 years old, of Staunton with two felonies in connection with the overnight incident in Augusta County. 

Powell was charged with grand larceny and strangulation after he got into an argument and choked his 23-year-old former girlfriend and then stole her 2007 Nissan sedan from her apartment in the 200 block of Bookerdale Road. 

Officers responded there at approximately 7:00 PM on August 18 and found the victim with marks on her neck.  She did not require hospitalization. 

Powell is being held without bond on the Waynesboro charges.

Virginia State Police
Press Release

Virginia State Police are still investigating a series of events that occurred in Augusta County Sunday night (Aug. 18) involving a Staunton man.  

At 7:01 p.m., Trooper G.D. McCoy Jr. was alerted to a traffic crash at the end of the ramp from northbound I-81 at Exit 222. A 2003 Jeep Cherokee had been driving erratically along Route 250 when it made a U-turn near the end of the ramp and struck a U-Haul truck. The Cherokee then fled the scene.

The driver of the U-Haul was not injured and the vehicle suffered minor damage.  

The Jeep then continued up Route 250. Trooper McCoy put out a "Be on the Lookout" to area law enforcement for the Cherokee based on a witness description of the hit-and-run vehicle.   The Jeep was later spotted by Augusta County deputies behind an abandoned building along Route 11. After an encounter with the driver of the Jeep, the vehicle fled from the deputies. As the Jeep sped onto Route 11, it ran into a 2007 Nissan Altima in the southbound lanes. The impact forced the Nissan into the northbound lanes and into the guardrail.

The driver of the Nissan and her two children were not injured in the crash.  

The Jeep fled again and was pursued by Augusta County deputies. The Jeep was stopped and its driver, Derek S. Powell, 33, of Staunton, Va., was taken into custody.  

State police are investigating both hit-and-run crashes. Trooper McCoy charged Powell with two counts of hit-and-run, two counts of reckless driving, DUI, expired vehicle registration, destruction of property, and for not wearing a seat belt.

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