October chase sentencing set in W.Va. for Pontotoc man

By The Associated Press

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A Mississippi trucker faces an October sentencing in West Virginia on charges stemming from a drug-fueled chase on Interstate 81.

The Journal of Martinsburg says 44-year-old Thomas L. McNeel of Pontotoc, pleaded no contest last week to 12 counts. The charges include assault and fleeing in a vehicle while driving under the influence.

The Dec. 20, 2010, chase began in Berkeley County in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle and ended near Greencastle, Pa.

In January, McNeel was sentenced in Maryland to 21 years for chase-related offenses. At his trial, he testified that he had used methamphetamine and a synthetic drug known as “bath salts” that morning. He claimed he couldn’t remember the chase.

His sentencing in Berkeley County Circuit Court is set for Oct. 11.