Trial continues in Giles Co. for Town of Narrows officer

Published: Dec. 7, 2021 at 9:01 PM EST
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GILES COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - On the second day of what could be a five-day trial for Town of Narrows Police Officer Chad Stilley, several more witnesses took the stand, but the most time was spent with Pearisburg Officer Paul Vincent. Vincent was the last person to testify Monday, and special prosecutor Chris Rehak and defense attorney Chris Tuck, questioned Vincent for over two hours Tuesday.

Most of the questioning involved the Pearisburg Police handbook, which became evidence in the case.

“This talks about the use of a stationary roadblock, please read that paragraph,” asked Rehak. “The use of a stationary roadblock should be used only by the chief of police,” responded Vincent.

The night of July 24, 2020, when 28-year-old Michael Acord was caught on radar speeding by Vincent, then eluded him for several miles, and ultimately crashed into Stilley’s unmarked police vehicle, was not specially mentioned Tuesday as much as it was Monday. Time instead was spent on the positioning of the vehicles from the crash scene.

However, several witnesses, all sworn officers at the time of the crash, were not allowed to share opinions on the stand, as they were not given the court title of “expert” due to a motion filed by Chris Tuck.

“Hold the government to the same accountability that the government is asking him to be held to,” stated Tuck to judge Harrell.

The motion was filed originally to exclude a handful of witnesses, due to missed court deadlines.

Rehak argued his “expert” witnesses were hard to reach.

“This has been the most difficult endeavor I think in 20 years that I have wrangled with,” said Rehak.

While Harrell overruled the exclusion of witnesses, he did agree with Tuck that the officers would only be allowed to answer questions related to facts presented.

Rehak continued with questioning related to policy found in the Pearisburg handbook, though the law enforcement officials ranged in jurisdiction from Virginia State Police to the Town of Narrows and Giles County.

Tuck used that to ask the witnesses if they knew the policy for surrounding jurisdictions, to which they all answered, “no.”

Rehak also had two instructors with the Cardinal Criminal Justice Academy testify, and asked them about specific questions from tests administered to officers in training, involving roadblocks and use of deadly force.

Those who observed the crash but do not wear a badge were the last to testify Tuesday.

The jury has yet to hear from Stilley, and Rehak could still call up to 10 more witnesses in the days to come.

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