St. Louis man gets prison time for 2017 ‘road-rage’ incident in New Madrid County
NEW MADRID, Mo. — A man involved in a “road-rage” incident which began with a high speed chase in Missouri and ended in Arkansas is now heading to prison.
Deandre Lamont McKenzie, 27, of St. Louis was formally sentenced by Judge William E. Reeves to six years in the custody of the Department of Corrections on a charge of unlawful use of a weapon and three years for unlawful possession of a firearm. The sentences are to run concurrently.
McKenzie’s arrest stems from an incident which began May 22, 2017, when the Missouri State Highway Patrol received a report at 3:32 p.m. of a firearm brandished at another vehicle on southbound Interstate 25 at the 53 mile marker in New Madrid County.
In his report, Trooper C.L. Purnell with the Missouri State Highway Patrol stated he located the vehicle at 3:57 p.m. in Pemiscot County and began a pursuit but the vehicle would not yield although he had activated his lights and siren.
“While in pursuit of the vehicle, the speeds topped at 125 miles per hour,” Purnell wrote in his report. “The fleeing vehicle passed motorists on the shoulder at five different times. The fleeing vehicle passed in between motorist(s) in the roadway two different times.”
According to the officer, the vehicle, which was driven by a woman with McKenzie in the back seat, almost struck two vehicles as it passed between them. Purnell said because he believed the driver would not stop and due to safety concerns he ended his pursuit at the Missouri-Arkansas line.
The officer was later advised the driver and McKenzie were taken into custody by the Arkansas State Police at 4:53 p.m. Also in his report, he noted a motorist notified the patrol they had witnessed a firearm thrown from the vehicle as it traveled along Interstate 55.
On Feb. 4, McKenzie entered a plea of not guilty to the charges and waived the right to a jury trial. After hearing the evidence on Feb. 4, Reeves found McKenzie guilty and set his formal sentencing, which was conducted Tuesday in Division I of New Madrid County Circuit Court.