Driver in Sheriff Al Cannon chase case pleads guilty

McManus

A Mount Pleasant man who led deputies on a 25-mile chase that reached speeds of 120 mph faces more than two years in prison after pleading guilty in a Charleston County court.

On Wednesday, Circuit Judge Thomas Hughston sentenced Timothy McManus, 32, to 30 months in prison on charges of being a habitual traffic offender and failing to stop for blue lights, court records show.

McManus spoke no words in his own defense at the hearing, his attorney W. David Johnson said. Aside from Johnson, the only person to speak on McManus’ behalf was his mother.

The woman addressed the court insisting that the accusations against McManus are uncharacteristic of her son, 9th Circuit Assistant Solicitor Burns Wetmore said.

For Wetmore and Assistant Solicitor Jennifer Shealy, who prosecuted the case, the facts stood for themselves.

In January 2012, McManus, who had a suspended license, led deputies on a chase after his Dodge Ram nearly collided with Sheriff Al Cannon’s vehicle. The chase ended when deputies shot out the truck’s tires in the Francis Marion National Forest. An angry Cannon slapped McManus across the face as he sat handcuffed in the backseat of a cruiser.

McManus was out on bail in August when deputies found him asleep behind the wheel of a sport utility vehicle that was still in drive.

“The nature of this was so egregious,” Shealy said. “For Mr. McManus to be driving a vehicle again while under suspension and out on bond certainly contributes to the appropriateness of the sentence.”

About five of McManus’ family members attended the hearing. Johnson said he and the family were disappointed by Wednesday’s outcome, but that they respect the judge’s decision.

“They had hoped that their son and their father would be out again,” Johnson said, adding that McManus’ three young sons haven’t seen their father since his incarceration.

Wetmore said the state did not recommend a sentence, but he said he was pleased with the decision, citing the number of lives McManus put at risk as he raced through the streets of a crowded Mount Pleasant.

Sheriff’s Maj. Jim Brady said Cannon is aware of McManus’ sentence but that he has nothing further to add.

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