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Man accused of killing Big Stone Gap officer appears in court

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 12:00 PM EST
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WISE, Va. (WYMT/WJHL) — The man accused of killing Big Stone Gap Police Officer Michael Chandler is set to go to trial on 13 charges in April, according to CBS affiliate WJHL.

33-year-old Michael Donivan White of Cross, South Carolina, appeared virtually in court Tuesday morning from Southwest Virginia Regional Jail on charges of probation violation for two counts of grand larceny along with a new 13-count indictment.

A news crew from WJHL was in the courtroom as Wise County District Judge Ron Elkins read off his charges. White appeared to yawn as the charges were read and was seen smiling as well. He reportedly described his probation violation charges as “the least of [his] worries.”

Elkins reportedly warned White that the case is a serious matter.

“You as a defendant did commit aggravated murder,” said Elkins, according to video from the CBS-affiliate. “That is a class one felony, and it carries mandatory life in prison.”

White reportedly also requested that his trial take place quickly.

The trial dates from April 11-55, 2022 will cover all 13 charges, including felony murder and aggravated murder.

White has been charged with aggravated murder, felony murder, possession of schedule I/II substances with intent to distribute, possession of a gun while in possession of schedule I/II substances, shooting in commission of murder, using a gun in commission of aggravated murder, possession of a gun by a felon, possession of ammunition by a felon, brandishing a gun, reckless handling of a gun, firing a gun in public, and disorderly conduect

White’s aggravated murder charge alone calls for a mandatory minimum punishment of life in prison, according to indictment documents.

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