Man convicted after standoff and attempted murder of police sentenced to 35 years
IRON GATE, Va. (WDBJ/Alleghany County & Covington Commonwealth’s Attorney Release) - A man convicted for a standoff and attempted murders of nine police officers has been sentenced to 35 years in prison.
Marshall Dale Meadows, 61, was sentenced for the March 2019 Iron Gate shooting.
Circuit Court Judge Christopher Russell sentenced Meadows to 180 years of suspended time in addition to the 35 year active sentence.
Meadows had pleaded guilty to nine counts of attempted capital murder and five firearms charges for the two-hour standoff.
Neighbors called 911 when shots were heard in the neighborhood near 802 Commerce Avenue in the Town of Iron Gate. According to Commonwealth’s Attorney Ann Gardner, houses and vehicles were pelted by shotgun blasts and rifle fire as Meadows fired multiple rounds through a 12 gauge shotgun, a .30- 06 rifle and a .22 magnum rifle.
As police tried to secure the scene, according to investigators, Meadows blew out three windows in his home, firing repeatedly at officers while they scrambled for cover behind trees and vehicles. The Alleghany County Sheriff’s Office, Clifton Forge Police Department, Covington Police Department, and Virginia State Police worked together to close streets and protect residents.
The Botetourt County Sheriff’s Office used its BearCat armored vehicle to rescue deputies and officers pinned by gunfire. Meadows ignored commands to surrender, according to police, as he moved from window to window, spraying the officers with gunfire.
Meadows later told police he had been drinking all day and became angry about unsanitary conditions created by cats belonging to a woman who lived there, and who was there during the shooting. Officers got the woman safely out of the home.
From the witness stand at his sentencing, Meadows turned to the officers seated in the courtroom and apologized for his crimes. On cross examination, Gardner reminded Meadows he should also thank the officers for exercising great restraint in not returning fire, despite his persistent efforts to shot them.
“It is a miracle that nobody was killed,” Gardner said. “These officers defused the situation and ended it without loss of life.”
“When gunshots ring out, everyone else’s inclination is to run away,” Gardner said. “They put their lives on the line to protect the rest of us. So, the next time you see one of our local law enforcement officers on the street you ought to say thank you.”
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