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Upshur County man arrested on three felony charges after fleeing from state police

BUCKHANNON – A Buckhannon man was arrested on three felony charges Monday after allegedly fleeing from a state trooper in a vehicle.

Joshua Shipman, 45, was arrested for fleeing from an officer in a vehicle/reckless endangerment, driving revoked for DUI third offense and fraudulent registration, all felonies.

According to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office filed by investigating officer Senior Trooper P.J. Robinette with the Buckhannon detachment of the West Virginia State Police, at about 11:30 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 14, Robinette was conducting road patrol on Route U.S. 33 in Buckhannon.

The trooper saw a white 2000 Ford Focus with a loud, possibly defective, exhaust, so he pulled behind the vehicle, which turned on Childers Crossing and then onto state Route 15. Robinette turned on his overhead lights to initiate a traffic stop. At that point, the vehicle slowed down, and Robinette reportedly saw the male driver look back in the rearview mirror before allegedly accelerating at a high rate of speed eastbound, away from Robinette, the complaint says.

Robinette turned on his siren, which the driver, who was later identified as Shipman, allegedly continued to ignore while driving at a high rate of speed. According to the report, Robinette continued to pursue the vehicle onto Heavner Grove Road past Union Elementary School while school was in session.

The vehicle continued to flee erratically at a high rate of speed on Heavner Grove Road, which is an unlined roadway, almost wrecking several times. According to the report, the vehicle turned onto Little Sand Run Road and then the Perry Road. The vehicle then pulled off onto a side road, which was blocked, so the driver of the vehicle exited the vehicle and allegedly began fleeing on foot. Robinette had to chase Shipman and eventually caught him and placed him in custody.

Shipman stated he fled from Robinette because he was revoked for DUI third offense and could be facing life in prison if he was caught driving again.

Robinette was notified by the E911 Upshur County Communication Center that the registration displayed on the vehicle expired in March 2017. Robinette noticed that the registration plate allegedly displayed a fraudulent 2021 sticker, which was reportedly taken from another license plate, the file states.

Shipman’s driver’s license is revoked due to multiple active DUI convictions. The file says Robinette reviewed his criminal history, which showed three driving revoked DUI convictions with dates of March 15, 2003; March 2, 2004; and Sept. 4, 2003, the complaint says.

Bail was set at $30,000.

The penalty for a conviction of fleeing from officer in a vehicle/reckless disregard is a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $2,000 and confinement in a state correctional facility for not less than one, nor more than five years; meanwhile, the possible penalty for third-offense driving revoked for DUI is confinement in the penitentiary for not less than one nor more than three years and a fine ranging between $3,000 and $5,000.

Finally, the possible penalty for a conviction of fraudulent registration is confinement for not less than one year nor more than five years or a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $5,000 or both.

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