Colin D. Stolle, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the city of Virginia Beach, announced that Troy Beacham, 52 years old, of Chocowinity, North Carolina, was sentenced today for charges of Child Cruelty/Neglect/Abuse – Reckless, Eluding Police – Endangerment, DUI, and Refusal of Blood/Breath Test. Circuit Court Judge Stephen C. Mahan sentenced Beacham to ten (10) years, twelve (12) months, and thirty (30) days to serve. This is the maximum sentence for these crimes and is significantly above the high-end of the Virginia State Sentencing Guidelines’ recommendation of a sentence no higher than two (2) years and six (6) months.
Beacham pled guilty on February 26, 2019. Had this case gone to trial, the Commonwealth’s evidence would have proven that on May 3, 2018 at approximately 7:23 p.m., Troy Beacham was driving a Jeep Wrangler on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel with a 13-month-old in the front passenger seat. An officer saw him bump the car in front of him at the toll plaza. As the officer approached the Jeep, he noticed the infant sitting unrestrained facing forward in a child car seat and that Beacham appeared disoriented and confused. The officer asked Beacham for his license and registration, but Beacham kept handing him a twenty (20) dollar bill. Beacham disregarded the officer’s commands to stop, and took off at high rate of speed.
Beacham knocked the red and white striped mechanical arm bar aside and did not pay the toll fee. The officer pursued Beacham in his marked police vehicle for the entire twenty (20) mile length of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. Beacham drove at speeds from 58 to 97 m.p.h. He drove into the oncoming lane of travel. Virginia Beach police were notified and deployed spike strips to try to stop Beacham once he exited the bridge in Virginia Beach. His tires were flattened but he continued to drive a short distance before pulling over. Police observed that his eyes were bloodshot, watery, and glassy. He swayed and had a strong odor of alcohol. A half empty bottle of Crown Royal liquor was found in the rear cargo area of the Jeep. Three marijuana smoking devices and rolling papers were located in the vehicle, and including one located under the child’s car seat. Beacham refused to take a breath or blood test to determine his blood alcohol content. The child, still unrestrained, was removed from the vehicle and cared for by officers. She was uninjured.
Beacham has two prior Involuntary Manslaughter convictions, felony Possession of a Stolen Car, Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer, two DUIs and a felony Eluding Police conviction, all in North Carolina. He also has a conviction in Virginia for felony Unlawful Wounding.
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Wendy Alexander prosecuted this case. Please contact Macie Allen if additional information is desired.