A Johnston County man was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in prison and three years of supervised release for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. On October 22, 2020, Justin Lynn Chapman pled guilty to the federal indictment.
According to court documents and other information presented in court, on November 30, 2018, troopers with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol conducted a traffic stop on I-40 near McGee’s Crossroads for a false license plate. The Honda pulled off to the shoulder near the NC 210 Exit, however, as the trooper approached the driver, the vehicle drove away leads law enforcement officers on a chase along I-40 and several secondary roadways near Benson.
The vehicle passed several vehicles in no passing zones, ran numerous stop signs, traveled left of center, and reached speeds of 110 mph. During the pursuit, the passenger, Chapman, partially exited the vehicle’s sunroof with a firearm and fired five shots at the pursuing patrol vehicle. As the vehicle fled down rural roads, Chapman continued to exit the sunroof and fired an additional nine shots toward the patrol vehicles.
The Highway Patrol requested assistance from the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office, who deployed stop sticks on the roadway. The fleeing vehicle’s tires were punctured and after a short distance the Hondae came to a stop on Woodall Dairy Road near Federal Road.
Chapman fled the vehicle and after a brief man hunt was captured. A search of Chapman’s person recovered a 9mm handgun with a 30-round extended magazine. Chapman was interviewed subsequent to his arrest and admitted to discharging his weapon at the patrol vehicle. Three patrol cars were damaged during the chase ,including one SHP cruiser damaged by bullets fired by the suspect. No law enforcement officers were injured.
G. Norman Acker, III, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III. The North Carolina State Highway Patrol, the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office, and The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, And Explosives investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel W. Smith prosecuted the case.