A Floyd County man could face a maximum prison sentence of 20 years if convicted of all charges linked to his alleged fleeing from police in an incident earlier this month.
According to court documents, on Jan. 15, a Pike County grand jury indicted Robert Messersmith, 28, of Red Morg Branch, Teaberry, on charges including possession of a firearm by a convicted felon (a class C felony charge and two class D felony charges), second-degree fleeing or evading police and being a persistent felony offender in the second degree.
According to the citation in the case, on Jan. 7, Kentucky State Police Trooper M. Branham observed a 2007 Chevrolet Colorado being operated on U.S. 460 near Harless Creek which had only one working tail lamp and no working brake lights.
Branham wrote that the turned on the vehicle and confirmed the vehicle was traveling 65 mph in a 45 mph zone and also that the Colorado’s registration was expired. Branham, the citation said, attempted to stop the vehicle, at which time the vehicle failed to yield and accelerated.
The trooper wrote that the driver failed to stop and continued to flee onto a strip mine road and fled to the top of the mountain before he drove into an old pond where the vehicle got stuck. Branham wrote that he ran up to the vehicle and made contact through the driver’s side window with the driver, but that the driver was able to jump out of the vehicle and flee on foot.
Branham was able to see the driver, who he identified as Messersmith because he had arrested Messersmith in 2018 in a different case.
Court documents show Merssersmith was booked into the Pike County Detention Center on Jan. 8, and he remained held there as of press time Tuesday.
The persistent felony offender charge is a class B felony, which carries a potential prison sentence of between 10 years and 20 years, if Messersmith is convicted of it.