Felony charges in connection with a police chase that led to the death of a Carroll County Sheriff’s Deputy in March will go before a Carroll County Grand Jury.
Joseph A. Lambert, 21, of Bedford County, appeared in Carroll County General District Court on Friday to face charges against him after he allegedly led police on a chase that ultimately resulted in the death of Deputy Curtis A. Bartlett on March 9.
On Friday, Lambert pled guilty in Carroll County General District Court to driving on a suspended license and possession of marijuana. Special Prosecutor Stephanie Vipperman, Commonwealth’s Attorney of Patrick County, is handling the case for the Carroll County Commonwealth’s Attorney since the case involves local law enforcement.
Vipperman said Judge Edward M. Turner, III fined Lambert $100 and suspended his driver’s license for a day for driving on a suspended license, and fined Lambert $100 and suspended his license an additional six months for the marijuana charge.
Vipperman said Lambert waived his preliminary hearing on the two felonies – felony reckless driving and felony eluding police that results in the death of a police officer. She said Turner certified both those charges, which will now go before a Carroll County Grand Jury in September. Lambert is currently being held without bond in New River Valley Regional Jail. According to a Carroll County Sheriff’s Office press release from March, Lieutenant W.R. Lyons attempted to stop a 4-door sedan traveling south on Interstate 77 at the 18-mile marker in Carroll County shortly before 10 p.m. on March 9. Radar registered the vehicle traveling 87 miles per hour in a posted 65 mph zone.
“The Lieutenant activated his patrol vehicle’s emergency lights, but the sedan refused to stop and a pursuit was initiated. The sedan continued south on I-77 and took Exit 14 to Route 58,” according to the press release. “The sedan headed west on Route 58 and then turned onto Airport Road. The car continued through a field, struck a fence, and eventually made its way into the backyard of a nearby residential neighborhood where it finally stopped. The driver, Joseph A. Lambert, 21, of Goodview, Va., then fled on foot, but was apprehended moments later. Lambert was taken into custody without further incident.”
Carroll County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Curtis A. Bartlett, 32, was responding to assist with the ongoing pursuit in Carroll County traveling west on Route 58 with emergency lights and sirens activated when he collided with a tractor-trailer making a left turn onto Route 58 from the Interstate 77 Exit 14 ramp. Deputy Bartlett died at the scene.
At the time of Lambert’s arrest, he was charged with one felony count of eluding police that results in the death of a police officer, possession of marijuana, reckless driving, and driving on a suspended license.
Allen Worrell can be reached at (276) 779-4062 or on Twitter@AWorrellTCN