Commonwealth v. Sam Anthony Palma II; 3 Years, 6 Months to Serve for Eluding Police, Related Traffic Crimes

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Colin D. Stolle, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the city of Virginia Beach, announced that Sam Anthony Palma II, 31 years old, was sentenced today by Circuit Court Judge William R. O’Brien for felony Eluding Police, Driving while License Revoked 3rd or Subsequent Offense, Use Fictitious or Improper Registration or Title or Plates, Operate a Motor Vehicle Without Registration or Title or Plates, Operate a Motor Vehicle with Improper Display of Tags, Operating Uninsured Motor Vehicle, and Expired/Rejected Inspection Sticker. Judge O’Brien sentenced Palma to 5 years and 12 months, with 2 years and 6 months suspended, leaving 3 years and 6 months to serve. Judge O’Brien also imposed a fine of $550 and revoked Palma’s license for 10 years. This sentence is well above the Virginia State Sentencing Guidelines, which recommended he serve no more than 2 years and 4 months. 

Palma pled guilty on May 20, 2015.  Had this matter gone to trial, the Commonwealth’s evidence would have proven that on October 5, 2014, a Virginia State Police trooper attempted to stop Sam Palma II on 19th Street at the oceanfront area of Virginia Beach.  The car drew the trooper’s attention because it had no front license plate and inspection sticker.  As the trooper attempted to stop Palma, Palma fled. The trooper spotted Palma shortly thereafter on Atlantic Avenue. Palma hit the trooper’s car as he fled again.  The trooper began to follow Palma throughout the city until calling off the pursuit near the Chic’s Beach area.  During the pursuit, Palma drove at speeds over 110 m.p.h. in zones with speed limits of 25, 35, 45, and 55 m.p.h.  The pursuit spanned approximately 15 miles and lasted approximately 11 minutes. 

 

Ultimately Palma crashed his car after striking several parked cars, breaking through a fence, and damaging cars on the other side of the fence.  He fled on foot.  During a search of his wrecked car, police found several documents with Palma’s name on them.  Palma was apprehended four days later on October 9, 2014. His DNA was recovered from the car’s airbag.  Further, the trooper was able to identify Palma as the driver after viewing a photograph of Palma.

Palma has 9 prior convictions for Driving with a Suspended Operator’s License. Further, he has prior convictions for Hit and Run, felony Eluding Police, Reckless Driving (2 counts), Marijuana Possession (2 counts), Assault, Petit Larceny, and multiple traffic infractions to include speeding.

 

The case was prosecuted by Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Sara R. Chandler. Please contact Macie Pridgen if additional information is desired.

 

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