PRESTONSBURG — The murder trial of a man accused of killing a 63-year-old woman in car crash as he ran from police is set to begin in September, though a new indictment may cause a delay.
James E. Mace, 23, of Pikeville, was indicted earlier this year on one count of murder and one count of first-degree assault for his part in a May 15 car accident which claimed the life of 63-year-old Brenda Montgomery and seriously injured Montgomery’s passenger Elsie Oakley.
The jury trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 16, though a superceding persistent felony offender indictment handed down by a Floyd County grand jury this week may cause a delay.
“Oftentimes, when a superceding indictment is returned, and there is a greater penalty, the trial date may be moved out a little to allow the defense additional time to prepare,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Arnold Brent Turner.
Mace was the driver of the 2000 Chevrolet Malibu which crashed into Jackson resident Montgomery and her passenger Oakley, during what police said was a pursuit, which began on Rough and Tough. Floyd County Deputies said that Mace and his passenger Jonathan Crider, were spotted on the old strip mine, melting stolen wire down for its copper.
Police alleged that when the pair spotted the deputies cruisers they fled off the mountain towards the main road where officers lost track of the vehicle. Moments later, Mace’s vehicle collided head-on with Montgomery’s on Route 114.
Montgomery was transported to Highlands Regional Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead by Floyd County Coroner Greg Nelson. Oakley was transported to Highlands Regional Medical Center and then airlifted to Cabell Huntington Hospital.
Mace had to be extricated from the vehicle, and the stolen wire that filled the car, before he and Crider were also airlifted to Cabell Huntington.