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Man faces murder charges after shooting at officers
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A man who shot at officers after leading them on a high-speed chase has been hit with 23 criminal counts, including that of attempted first-degree murder.
The suspect, Johnny F. Copley, waived his right to preliminary hearing and was bound to the grand jury by General Sessions Judge Larry Ross on 23 criminal counts, including single counts of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, evading arrest, possession of a firearm during a felony, unlawful carrying of a weapon, criminal trespass, violation of the habitual traffic offender status and four counts of vandalism, five counts of theft, four counts of burglary and two counts of aggravated burglary.
The top count of attempted murder carries 15 to 25 years in prison, while the aggravated assault charges each carry three to six years. The burglaries and thefts along with three of the vandalisms, the violation of habitual traffic offender, evading arrest, and firearms violations are all felonies.
Lawmen say Copley went on a burglary spree earlier in the morning before his chase by officers. At least one homeowner fired a round through the back window of Copley’s vehicle after he caught him breaking into his garage.
Another victim reported finding Copley in his house around daybreak and noticing several items were missing. The victim also noticed a place in his back yard where Copley had apparently painted his vehicle with spray paint in an effort to disguise it.
Deputies fell in behind the crudely painted car later that morning, prompting Copley to flee, leading lawmen into a nursery field off Hennesee Bridge Road. Witnesses say Copley ran through several fences as lawmen shot out his tire. He then rammed a pursuing sheriff’s vehicle before abandoning his car with guns blazing.
Chief deputy Tommy Myers dodged rounds fired by Copley, responding with fire himself. Neither was hit.
Copley was caught following an armed standoff with officers finding him about an hour later hiding inside a outhouse clutching a 44-caliber pistol. He surrendered without further resistance.