Former judge calls Monday's car pursuit "justified" - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Former judge calls Monday's car pursuit "justified"

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BIRMINGHAM - AL -

A car chase, spanning 20 miles and in some way, shape or form involving at least five law enforcement agencies...ending with three people dead.

It started around seven o'clock Monday evening in Cordova when two suspects allegedly robbed an older man at gunpoint. Local police immediately put out a BOLO (Be On the Look Out) for their white SUV.

The two men traveled down Horse Creek Boulevard, into Dora, which is where the car chase really started.

The driver got on to Highway 78, which took them all the way to Minor Parkway, in Adamsville, in Jefferson County. Dora Police say they notified both Jefferson County Deputies and Birmingham Police about the chase, before entering the county.

Eventually, the white SUV wound up in McDonald Chapel, where, Dora police say they backed off the chase. In this area, the suspects lost officers for a short period of time.

Then once on Lexington Street, the SUV was spotted by a Jefferson County Sheriff's Deputy. The deputy pulled a "U" turn, wound up in a ditch and the suspects then went through an intersection at 269 and County Road 65, which is where the fatal accident occurred that killed three people, including a 10-month-old infant.

From Cordova to McDonald Chapel, according to police, the chase lasted for more than 90 minutes.

Former Judge John Carroll calls the pursuit justified.

"Yes, absolutely," he said.

He says the U.S. Constitution allows agencies to engage if the driver is a threat to other drivers, or if they've been known to commit a crime.

"[Police] knew that these two they were chasing had pistol-whipped an elderly couple in Walker County and had committed a serious felony," Carroll said. "All law enforcement agencies who had them in jurisdiction had the right to engage in hot pursuit."

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