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CHRISTIANSBURG -- The day he rammed a police cruiser with his station wagon, William Shane Mattox wanted police to kill him, his attorney said in court Friday.
After he was arrested, Mattox asked police why they didn't shoot him, defense attorney Christopher Tuck told a judge at Mattox's hearing in Montgomery County Circuit Court. Later, Tuck said, Mattox asked someone who was drawing his blood why they didn't put an air bubble in his vein.
Mattox's mental health issues led him to ram the Christiansburg police car on Hill Street the afternoon of June 16, 2007, Tuck said.
Mattox, 32, was charged with two counts of attempted capital murder -- one each for the two officers who were inside the car. But he was going only about 10 mph when he struck the car, and neither officer was injured.
On Friday, Assistant Montgomery County Commonwealth's Attorney Nicole Terry reduced the charges to assault and battery on a law enforcement officer. Mattox pleaded guilty to those charges.
Police had been called to Pepper Street that afternoon to a reportthat Mattox was involved in a fight with another man. Police were told that Mattox had pulled out a straight razor and was cutting himself with it. A man who lived next door had picked up a garden stake.
On the way there, police encountered Mattox in his car.
Mattox had been charged with simple assault for the incident, though the man with the garden stake was not injured. Terry dropped that charge Friday.
Mattox agreed there was sufficient evidence to find him guilty of several misdemeanor charges, including obstruction of justice, destruction of property for damage to the car and carrying a concealed weapon for having the straight razor.
He also agreed there was sufficient evidence to find him guilty of16 misdemeanor charges of tampering with a vehicle that were relatedto a separate incident. Mattox let the air out of tires on 16 cars at Rob-N-Sons Motors in May after the company repossessed a car it hadsold him.
As part of a plea agreement, Mattox must spend five years in prison on all the charges.
Circuit Court Judge Ray Grubbs sentenced him to five years on eachcount of assault and battery and 12 months each on the obstruction of justice, carrying a concealed weapon, destruction of property and 16 tampering convictions. Grubbs allowed some of that time to be served concurrently and some of it to be suspended, leading to the active sentence of five years.
Mattox had been on probation for a 2005 burglary conviction when he was arrested. Grubbs found that he had violated his probation but will allow Mattox to serve a five-year sentence at the same time he isserving the other five-year sentence.
Tuck told the court that Mattox has fought mental health issues since he was a child. He said Mattox wants to thank the officers who had to deal with him as well as the court and the commonwealth's attorney's office "and is thankful that he is receiving mercy today."

Story From: The Roanoke Times (VA)
 
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