Man Pleads To Attempted Murder Of Two Johnston County State Troopers

Officers take Justin Lynn Chapman into custody following an extensive manhunt Nov. 30, 2018 near Benson. Photo by John Payne

BENSON – A felon with a lengthy criminal history has been sentenced to prison after pleading guilty last week to the attempted murder of two state troopers during a 2018 high speed chase.

Justin Lynn Chapman pled guilty February 7, 2022 to two counts of attempted murder, one count of discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle, and one count of felony fleeing to elude arrest. Chapman was sentenced to a minimum of 251 months and a maximum of 314 months in prison.

On November 30, 2018, two troopers attempted to stop Chapman on Interstate 40 near McGee’s Crossroads for a license plate violation. The Honda passenger car initially stopped on the shoulder of I-40 but fled before the troopers could make contact with the occupants.

Troopers pursued the vehicle up to speeds of 110 MPH and then onto several secondary roads, as the fleeing suspects passed vehicles in a no passing zone, ran numerous stop signs, and traveled left of center. During the chase Chapman, a passenger in the vehicle, fired a 9mm handgun at the pursuing troopers over a dozen times. At least one round struck a Highway Patrol vehicle. Two other Highway Patrol cars sustained damage during the pursuit but not from the gunfire.

Heavily armed troopers conduct a manhunt Nov. 30, 2018 following a high speed chase where shots were fired at State Troopers. Photo by John Payne

The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office and the State Highway Patrol apprehended Chapman and the driver of the vehicle, Steven Randolph Young, after deflating the tires on the Honda with the use of stop sticks near Woodall Dairy Road and Federal Road.

Chapman fled from the vehicle but following a brief manhunt was captured near the Willa Chase subdivision. During a search of his person, a 9mm handgun and a 30-round extended magazine was located.

Detective Randy Ackley of the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office served as lead investigator in the criminal investigation against Chapman.

Chapman was sentenced Feb. 7th by Superior Court Judge Thomas Lock. The State was represented by District Attorney Susan Doyle and Assistant District Attorney Keith Gordon.

After hearing the State’s evidence, Chapman’s lengthy criminal history, and arguments of counsel, Judge Lock ordered that Chapman’s sentence run consecutively to prison sentences the Defendant is serving for several felony convictions from Lee and Chatham County.

Multiple law enforcement officers from several counties responded to a high speed chase and shooting near Benson on Nov. 30, 2018. Photo by John Payne

Assistant District Attorney Keith Gordon said he was pleased with the outcome and thanked the Highway Patrol and the Sheriff’s Office for their hard work investigating the case.

“We are grateful that justice was served in this case,” ADA Gordon said. “We applaud the troopers who put their lives at risk to apprehend these dangerous criminals. We also thank the many members of the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office for their diligent work investigating this matter and assisting their brother officers in the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. We are grateful that no one was seriously hurt during this horrifying crime. The District Attorney’s Office is committed to prosecuting anyone who commits violent crimes against the brave men and women who serve as law enforcement officers to the fullest extent.”

In May 2021, Chapman was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon for the 2018 incident.

The driver of the Honda, Steven Randolph Young, previously plead guilty to two counts of attempted murder and received 125-162 months in prison. 


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