Crime

Trial date set for man accused of causing death of Chester police officer

The Chester man accused of causing the death of a police officer during a police pursuit is set to stand trial in May.

Jason Stoker, 35, was arrested in November 2016 on federal and state charges alleging that he tried to flee law enforcement and caused the accident that killed Officer James Brockmeyer.

Brockmeyer attempted to pull over a red Pontiac on the night of Oct. 28, 2016, and Stoker allegedly refused to stop, leading police on a high-speed chase. During the chase, Brockmeyer’s patrol car left the road and flipped over. He was trapped in the car and died of his injuries, according to KFVS.

The car was found in Evansville, Illinois, and Stoker was arrested in St. Louis.

Stoker’s Randolph County trial was delayed after federal courts charged him with conspiracy to distribute more than 50g of methamphetamine. He pleaded guilty in January in return for a sentence recommendation of 10 years to life in prison with a fine up to $10 million, according to federal court documents. His sentencing on the federal charges will take place May 11.

The federal case delayed the state criminal case against Stoker for Brockmeyer’s death. He is charged with two counts of aggravated fleeing a police officer, reckless homicide and first-degree murder. Initial court appearances were also delayed when his court-appointed attorney became ill and had to be replaced, according to the North County News.

The new trial date will be May 14, and Stoker has waived his right to a jury trial, opting instead for a bench trial before a judge, according to the North County News. He remains in custody at the Randolph County Jail.

A previous version of this story misstated where the car was found. The BND regrets the error.

Elizabeth Donald: 618-239-2507, @BNDedonald

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