Jerod Green gets 25 to 50 years in death of W.Va. sheriff’s deputy

February 19, 2013
Jerod Green faces 25 to 50 years in prison for killing a West Virginia sheriff’s deputy last February. - Tara Kinsell / Observer-Reporter Order a Print

Jerod Green, the Morgantown, W.Va., man found guilty in December by a Greene County jury in the death of Monongalia County Sheriff’s Deputy Sgt. Michael Todd May, 41, was sentenced to 25 to 50 years in prison Tuesday.

Judge William Nalitz sentenced Green, 37, originally from Oklahoma, to 18 to 36 years for third-degree murder; 5 to 10 years consecutively for homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence; and 2 to 4 years consecutively for fleeing or eluding a police officer while DUI and crossing a state line.

Additionally, Greene received a 5- to 10-year concurrent sentence for homicide by vehicle and 2- to 4-year concurrent sentences on other DUI-related charges.

Prior to the imposition of sentence, the victim’s brother, Frank May, read an emotional impact statement to the court. “People have said two lives were ruined by alcohol. Well, that’s not true. Many lives were ruined by this tragedy,” May said.

May said Green was a “selfish man” who had no consideration of others. He said Green was given nine chances (referring to previous DUI and other convictions) to turn his life around. “Instead, he crashed his vehicle into my brother like a missile,” May said.

The impact of what has happened is immeasurable, May said. “There is nothing anyone can do to bring Todd back. He is gone from us because of a selfish act of a repeat felon,” May said.

“A just life was lost, and a selfish life was spared,” May added. “My kids ask me, ‘How did the bad guy win and our uncle is dead?’ My mother makes a pitcher of tea for him every day hoping he’ll come back and pour a glass with her. We lost one of our finest. We ask for the maximum sentence on all counts.”

Nalitz said he could not understand how Greene was still able to possess a driver’s license.

“You have devastated his family and wounded his department,” Nalitz told Green just before sentencing. “You will not have the opportunity to do this again.”

When asked if he had anything to say, Green looked over at family members and said in a low voice, “I am sorry for your loss.”

In brief comments following the proceeding, District Attorney Marjorie Fox said the sentence was legal and within the guidelines. “Mr. Green made a choice,” she said. “Sgt. May had no choice.”

The jury found that May’s death was the direct result of his police vehicle being struck by Green’s Silverado pickup truck on Interstate 79 in Perry Township Feb. 18, 2012.

West Virginia sheriff’s deputies pursued Green after he fled from a traffic stop involving a hit-and-run accident that occurred earlier that same evening on Easton Hill Road in Monongalia County, W.Va., where Green’s truck struck a car driven by Skylar Johnson, 19, of Morgantown. When police pulled Green over, he denied hitting Johnson’s vehicle and then admitted he was there but it was not his fault. When an officer reached inside Green’s truck to turn off the ignition, Green hit the gas and pulled off with the officer’s arm inside the window. Police began a pursuit of Green’s truck as it traveled north on Route 100, onto Route 19 north into Pennsylvania and then entered the Interstate 79 on-ramp at Mt. Morris.

It was just south of the on-ramp that Green’s truck collided with May’s marked police vehicle, a Jeep Grand Cherokee. May died as a result of injuries sustained from the impact.

Green faces additional charges in Monongalia County, W.Va., including two counts of malicious wounding, one count of third offense or subsequent DUI, one count of fleeing DUI and one count of fleeing.

May was a 10-year veteran of the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department, where he led the SWAT team. He also served with the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department and the West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility.

Jon Stevens was the Observer-Reporter’s Greene County bureau chief. During his 41 years with the O-R, he covered county government, courts and politics, and won statewide and regional writing awards.

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