Suspect in W.Va. homicide arrested after police chase near Waynesburg

March 20, 2017
Pennsylvania State Police in Waynesburg

WAYNESBURG – A man reported to be a suspect in a homicide investigation in West Virginia was arrested Sunday evening on Interstate 79 near Waynesburg after leading West Virginia and Pennsylvania police on a high-speed chase.

James Hurmon Gunter, 56, of 1000 Jackson St., Toledo, Ohio, was arrested at 6:20 p.m. near the I-79 Waynesburg exit after Pennsylvania State Police disabled his vehicle with spike strips.

According to court documents filed in Pennsylvania, state police were contacted by emergency dispatchers in Monongalia County, W.Va., at 6:19 p.m. and asked to assist Mon-Metro Drug Task Force in the pursuit of a gray, Nissan Rogue bearing Texas plates traveling north on Interstate 79.

State police said they were informed the driver of the vehicle was a suspect in a homicide investigation.

The vehicle was seen weaving in and out of traffic at speeds exceeding 100 mph, state police said.

Mon-Metro Drug Task Force vehicles continued to pursue the vehicle to the 7-mile marker, where Pennsylvania state police picked up the pursuit.

State police said they deployed spike strips at the mile 8 and apparently were successful in puncturing the vehicle’s tires. The vehicle came to a stop near the Waynesburg exit. Gunter was then taken into custody.

A Mon-Metro Drug Task Force spokesman could not be reached Monday for comment.

Gunter was arraigned Monday morning before District Judge Glenn Bates on a felony charge of fleeing or attempting to elude police and six summery traffic violations. He was placed in Greene County jail on $30,000 bond and faces a preliminary hearing March 29.

Bob Niedbala worked as a general assignment reporter for the newspaper for 27 years in the Greene County bureau. He received a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Pittsburgh.

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