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Man to serve 20 years for crash that killed driver during police pursuit

fatal pursuit crash.jpg
Posted at 2:17 PM, Oct 31, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS — A Marion County judge has ordered a man to serve 20 years in prison for his involvement in a 2020 incident in which police say he stole a truck, fled officers and killed another person by crashing into their vehicle during the chase.

James R. Shirley pleaded guilty earlier this month to charges including resisting law enforcement causing death, auto theft and criminal recklessness. As part of the plea agreement, charges of methamphetamine possession and driving while suspended were dismissed.

A judge sentenced Shirley to 30 years for the resisting charge but with 10 years suspended. His sentence also includes 2 years for the other charges, but Shirley will serve them concurrently with his 30-year sentence.

On top of that, Shirley will have to serve five years of probation, a year of which he'll be on home detention. He'll also be subject to electric monitoring and substance abuse evaluation.

Police have said that Shirley killed 66-year-old Edward Flynn in December 2020 when he was fleeing police in a stolen pickup truck and crashed into Flynn's vehicle. Flynn later died from his injuries.

Officers encountered Shirley while they responded about 6 p.m. Oct. 15, 2020 to a report of a stolen vehicle in the 5000 block of West Washington Street. There, police made contact with Shirley and he refused to comply with officers' commands, backing the truck into one of the officers' patrol cars.

Officers then began a vehicle pursuit which ended when Shirley crashed into a second vehicle at South Lynhurst Drive and West Morris Street, Young said. The pursuit lasted approximately five minutes, police said.