April 21, 2010
For more information, please contact
Michael Guest at (601) 825-1472
Madison and Rankin Counties’ District Attorney Michael Guest announced today that James Christopher Skinner, a violent habitual offender, was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole following a four-day trial where the jury found him guilty of felony evasion and disorderly conduct.
In August 2009, the Brandon Police Department set up a safety checkpoint at the Interstate 20 off – ramp. Skinner approached the checkpoint and was asked to provide his driver’s license which he was unable to produce. Officers then asked Skinner to exit the vehicle and he refused. Skinner then struck the officer through the open window. One of the officers sprayed pepper spray into the vehicle and Skinner took off at a high rate of speed.
Officers pursued Skinner’s vehicle and were led on a 15 mile pursuit that reached speeds in excess of 100 miles an hour. Skinner avoided stop sticks that were placed in the road to disable his vehicle.
The pursuit ended when Skinner attempted to cross the railroad tracks and wrecked his vehicle. Officers also recovered precursor chemicals that had been thrown from the vehicle during the pursuit.
Guest stated, “Skinner is a violent criminal who has committed crimes all over the South. Because of this conviction he will no longer be able to assault, steal, threaten or intimidate those of us who follow our laws.”
Guest added, “Possessing Precursor Chemicals, striking a police officer and putting others in danger during a high speed chase is simply not going to be tolerated. With eight prior felony convictions Skinner should have never been on the street, but now his life of crime has finally come to an end.”
Guest concluded, “The jury did an outstanding job of patiently listening to testimony and making the right decision over this four- day trial. I thank them for their time and efforts.”
Skinner is a violent habitual offender who has previously been convicted in Florida of Burglary, Grand Theft, Grand Theft Auto, Attempted Carjacking with a Firearm, Aggravated Assault with a Firearm and Carrying a concealed Weapon. Skinner also has a conviction from Alabama for Theft of Property and he was on probation at the time of his arrest for a conviction for Possession of Cocaine.