Man charged with trying to kill two local police officers after 2018 shooting, chase to serve 33 years

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – The man charged with trying to kill two Chesapeake Police officers during a shooting after a car chase in April 2018 will spend three decades behind bars.

Jermel McSwain was sentenced Tuesday in Portsmouth Circuit Court on the following charges:

  • Attempted Capital Murder – 30 years with 20 years suspended, leaving 10 years to serve
  • Attempted Capital Murder – 30 years with 20 years suspended, leaving 10 years to serve
  • Use of a Firearm – 3 years
  • Use of a Firearm – 5 years
  • Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon – 5 years
  • Eluding Police – Endanger – 5 years to run concurrently with other charges
  • Possession with Intent to Distribute I/II Controlled Substance – 2nd Offense – 5 years to run concurrently with other charges

In total, McSwain will serve 33 years in prison.

On April 3, 2018, Chesapeake Police tried to to stop a silver Ford Mustang on S. Military Highway. The driver, 35-year-old McSwain, led them on a chase into Portsmouth and parked at a mobile home park on Victory Boulevard.

Police reported McSwain shot at officers who were pursuing him once he parked and got out of his car. At the time of the shooting, McSwain escaped.

Active warrants for his arrest were issued at the time, and he was caught 10 days later in Norfolk on W. Little Creek Road. At the time, McSwain was arrested for felony eluding law enforcement, possession of narcotics and parole violation in connection with a “situation” at a Portsmouth trailer park.

On January 3, 2019, the grand jury in Portsmouth returned an indictment for 11 charges, including the two counts of attempted capital murder. News 3 obtained court documents that reference the 2018 shooting and cite that McSwain tried to kill the officers, prohibiting them from carrying out their official duties.

McSwain pleaded guilty to seven out of the 11 charges in Portsmouth Circuit Court on June 12, 2019. The four remaining charges were nolle prossed.

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