Ex-Va. senator’s son kills man at motel, kills self on I-95 at end of police chase

23 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

After apparent homicide and abduction, police chase ends on I-95.

The son of a former longtime Virginia state senator killed himself Tuesday after allegedly abducting his estranged wife and murdering her boyfriend in northeastern Virginia, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. A man allegedly killed a person at a hotel in Virginia, abducted a woman, then fatally shot himself as police surrounded him on I-95 on Tuesday morning, according to police. An official from the Caroline County sheriff’s office and a Virginia State Police spokeswoman described the series of events, which left two people dead, at a news conference Tuesday. After fatally shooting Gift, police said, Todd Houck abducted the woman and led police responding to a 911 call at the motel on a 30-mile chase north on Interstate 95, until Houck’s car stopped on the highway and struck a police vehicle just south of Fredericksburg. Authorities said that Jeremy Gift, 36, of Stafford was fatally shot at Relax Inn in Bowling Green, a Caroline County town more than 70 miles south of Washington.

Police arrived at the hotel just as Houck was leaving the scene in a Mercury Mountaineer with his 34-year-old former partner, the Washington Post reported. In 1999, he barricaded himself in his Richmond apartment for 12 hours after officers tried to serve him with outstanding warrants, the Free Lance-Star reported. Todd had convictions for grand larceny and felony drug crimes. “We thank God no one was hurt or injured,” Edd said in a statement at the time. “In view of our son’s long history of mental illness, it is our hope and wish that appropriate treatment can now begin.” Caroline County Sheriff Tony Lippa Jr. said the shooting was “a domestic situation” but he declined to be specific about the relationships between the men and the woman. Court records show Todd Houck had a lengthy criminal history, including a grand larceny conviction and several drug offenses that resulted in jail sentences.

Spotsylvania defense attorney Mark Gardner said he had known Houck personally since Houck was a teenager, and had represented him recently when Houck stole money from a Fredericksburg IHOP. Gus Deeds had been released 13 hours earlier from an emergency custody order after a mental health clinician failed to find a psychiatric bed so that he could undergo further evaluation. In October 2012, Houck and his wife lost their other child, a daughter who died at age 31 of multiple sclerosis. “I just can’t believe so much pain and suffering for one couple,” said Senate Minority Leader Richard L. God knows they’ve done everything they could to try to get him resources over the years.” After his release, Fredericksburg prosecutors charged him with an additional crime related to the same incident. He was released on $1,500 bond in that case, despite prosecutors’ objections because of his criminal history, Commonwealth’s Attorney La Bravia Jenkins said.

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