By Nathan Baker
A man who prosecutors said threatened an Elizabethton police officer with a knife and then led authorities on a 25-mile, high-speed pursuit has been found guilty on all charges, except that of 2nd degree murder.
That charge was reduced to reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon. Travis Grover Richardson could face more than 30 years in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for July 18.
Richardson took the stand on his own behalf in Carter County Criminal Court, and told the jury that the two officers and one bystander who said they saw him with a silver pocketknife while fleeing the scene where he allegedly attempted to pass a counterfeit $100 bill must have seen his wristwatch.
Richardson denied demanding car keys from a man on Stateline Road at knifepoint, and said he must have lost the watch at some point during the three-county chase he led officers on.
Much of Richardson’s actions that day were captured on video cameras, however, and Assistant District Attorney Janet Hardin showed surveillance footage from inside the IGA grocery store where he is accused of exchanging the fake money that shows him without a watch.
At noon, after Richardson’s defense attorney Jim Bowman rested his case, the jury recessed for lunch and are expected to begin deliberating at about 1 p.m.
Check back later at starhq.com for the verdict and for more information from the trial.