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Indictments issued in aftermath of Vernon Hill manhunt

SoVaNow.com / September 11, 2017
A Halifax man has been indicted on charges of felony weapons possession, possession of marijuana and reckless driving after leading police on a manhunt in the Vernon Hill/White Oak community in April.

Timothy Thor Austin, 27, was arrested April 12 after allegedly crashing his vehicle on Chatham Road and fleeing into nearby woods with firearms. His disappearance touched off a two-and-a-half hour search by local law enforcement, which in turn prompted automated text and phone messages urging residents throughout Halifax County to stay indoors while the threat persisted. Police eventually found Austin the woods, along with a discarded shotgun and handgun.

Austin was indicted Thursday by a Halifax County grand jury on four charges, one of which is a felony: weapons possession after previously being convicted as a violent felon. Charges of reckless driving, marijuana possession and leaving the scene of an accident are misdemeanors.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt, but rather a determination by the grand jury that sufficient evidence exists to bring a case to trial.

In other indictments issued Thursday by the grand jury:

» Tommy Ray Shotwell, 44, was charged with four counts: assault and battery of Halifax Sheriff’s Deputy R.L. Compton; attempting to elude law enforcement officers; unlawfully operating a motor vehicle without a license; driving a defective or unsafe vehicle on highways; and driving without a valid registration.

Shotwell also faces numerous unrelated fraud, forgery and shoplifting charges that are set to be heard in October in Halifax County Circuit Court.

» Bryan Leo Bollinger, 41, was charged with felony theft of a firearm belonging to Jamie Thomas Cole and feloniously obtaining a firearm from Riverside Pawn Shop, on or about May 5,;

» Bollinger was separately indicted on four other charges related to June incidents: giving a false report on the commission of a crime to law enforcement; stealing a firearm from Matthew Flora; feloniously attempting to sell stolen property; and daytime breaking and entering into a dwelling.



» Kevin Davis Chappell, 24, was charged with attempting to sell stolen property and defrauding Riverside Pawn Shop of more than $200, a felony;

» Nathan Edmund Coleman, 66, was indicted on four counts: misdemeanor larceny of merchandise from Walgreens, misdemeanor larceny from Apple Market; trespassing at Apple Market, and misdemeanor larceny at Belk Department Store;

» Derick Demont Hilliard, 26, was charged with felony possession of a pistol, having been earlier been convicted of a violent crime, and carrying a concealed weapon;

» Maria Joanne Lucado, 33, was charged with felony theft of merchandise from CVS;

» Miguel A. Mijango, 35, was charged with two counts of felony fraud of Gene’s Orange Market and one felony county of passing a bad check;



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