The trial of Battee, 42, began on Thursday. The defense chose to have Judge Lauren Parish determine both phases of the trial, Guilt/Innocence and Punishment.
During the trial, it was learned that the Defendant alleged a mental illness and was claiming insanity at the time of the offense.
Assistant District Attorney Edward Choy, who prosecuted the case, presented evidence that the Defendant led police on a 20-minute chase on U.S. 271 with speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour.
The Defendant was eventually stopped when his tires were punctured by road spikes deployed by DPS Trooper Robbie Moore. Officer Larry Sewell of the Gilmer Police Department was then able to arrest the Defendant with the assistance of Pittsburg Police Chief Richard Penn.
A deadly weapon was also alleged since the Defendant drove into oncoming traffic causing several motorists to take evasive action.
During the course of the trial, evidence was presented by the State’s expert witness that due to the Defendant’s actions that day, the Defendant knew his conduct was wrong and it was determined that the Defendant was sane at the time of the offense, Byrd said.
Defense Attorney John W. Moore presented expert testimony that the Defendant was insane at the time of the offense.
However, when questioned by Choy, the expert agreed that the only explanation for some of the Defendant’s actions that day were to evade the police.
During the punishment phase of the trial, evidence was presented that the Defendant had committed a similar crime in Upshur County in 2003.
Judge Parish sentenced the Defendant to the maximum punishment of ten years imprisonment with an Affirmative Finding of a Deadly Weapon.
During her sentencing of the Defendant, Judge Lauren Parish stated, “Incarceration is the only way to protect the community from your actions.”