Lee County Sheriff: Man arrested after leading deputies, VSP on 20-mile chase


James Nelms (Courtesy: SWVRJA Duffield)

LEE COUNTY, Va. (WJHL) – A man is facing charges in Lee County, Va. after leading deputies on a chase throughout the county.

According to Sheriff Gary Parsons, deputies responded to a call from a resident in the Hickory Flats area of the county saying they had heard gunshots.

Parsons told News Channel 11 that the caller said they stepped outside their home and heard someone say “I’ve been shot.”

While deputies were on the scene, a vehicle drove past and wouldn’t stop.

Parsons said the driver, later identified as James Kirby Nelms, led deputies on a 15 to 20-mile chase through the county.

A Virginia State Police trooper eventually was able to hit the car, forcing it to the side of the road.

Deputies said Nelms is charged in Lee County with:

  • Failure to stop at a red light (1 Count)
  • Failure to stop at a stop sign (3 Counts)
  • Improper Passing (15 Counts)
  • Defective Equipment (1 Count)
  • Open Container (1 Count)
  • Felony Eluding (1 Count)
  • Failure to use a turn signal (19 Counts)
  • Obstruction (1 Count)
  • Possession of Stolen Property (1 Count)
  • Assault on Law Enforcement (19 Counts)

According to Scott County Sheriff Chris Holder, capias warrants had been issued in the county for Nelms.

A capias warrant is usually issued to ensure someone makes a scheduled court appearance.

As for the gunshots investigation, Lee County deputies said no one was found shot in the area. They also said no one has reported for medical care of gunshot wounds, or been reported missing.

The deputy also told News Channel 11 that someone living in the area of the investigation did tell them there had been a car driving around, with those inside throwing firecrackers out the windows.

That investigation is ongoing.

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