A man who fled a traffic stop and crashed his vehicle twice in a two-week period pleaded guilty to multiple charges Thursday.
Michael Christopher Jackson, 38, was loaded with drugs and money during both events, and in the second incident the deputies chasing Jackson believed he fired two gunshots in their direction.
Jackson, who must still use a walker because of spinal damage from the second crash, told Judge J. Wade Padgett that he had a gun but didn’t shoot it.
Jackson entered an Alford plea to the charge of aggravated assault on a police officer. The plea means Jackson doesn’t admit his guilt, but acknowledges the sufficiency of the evidence to warrant a conviction.
As defense attorney Pete Theodocion told the judge, with the evidence against Jackson for the Dec. 28 and Jan. 13 crimes and his criminal history, a jury trial was inadvisable.
Padgett accepted Jackson’s plea negotiation and sentenced him to 17 years in prison followed by 10 years on probation.
Assistant District Attorney Titus Nichols said Jackson has a pending criminal case in Alabama for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. In Georgia, Jackson’s convictions go back to 1995 and include burglaries, thefts, at least four drug convictions and multiple traffic offenses stemming from other flights from police officers.
On Thursday in Richmond County Superior Court, Jackson added to his criminal record with convictions for aggravated assault, possession of methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, two counts of fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer and two weapon violations.