Defense attorney for man accused of killing Big Stone Gap police officer withdraws from case

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WISE COUNTY, Va. (WJHL) — The man accused of killing Big Stone Gap Police Officer Michael Chandler was granted a new defense attorney Wednesday.

Michael Donivan White appeared virtually in Wise County court Dec. 22 from the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Abingdon, during which his defense attorney, Greg Baker, withdrew from the case, according to Virginia’s online case information system.

As the reasoning behind Baker’s withdrawal from the case was not revealed, News Channel 11 reached out to the counsel’s office for comment and awaits a response.

White was appointed a new defense attorney on Wednesday, listed as Mark Haugh.

White faces the following charges:

  • Aggravated murder
  • Felony murder
  • Possession of Schedule I/II substances with intent to distribute
  • Possession of a firearm while in possession of Schedule I/II substances
  • Shooting in commission of murder
  • Use of a firearm in commission of aggravated murder
  • Possession of a firearm by a felon
  • Possession of ammunition by a felon
  • Brandishing a firearm
  • Reckless handling of firearms
  • Discharging a firearm in public
  • Disorderly conduct

These charges stem from a Nov. 13 incident during which Chandler was responding to a welfare check, according to the original release from Virginia State Police (VSP).

VSP investigators said Chandler encountered “at least one individual” and was shot. When a Wise County Sheriff’s Office deputy arrived at the scene, Chandler was found unconscious in a ditch suffering from a gunshot wound.

Chandler was flown to Johnson City Medical Center, where he died from his injuries. Chandler is survived by his wife and daughter.

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