On May 31, 2022, in the Alleghany Circuit Court, Michael Julian Wolfe, 25, was found guilty of second-degree felony murder and felony eluding a law enforcement officer. Wolfe pled guilty to killing Randall Lee Tinsley, 26, in a motor vehicle crash while fleeing from a Clifton Forge police officer
Alleghany County Commonwealth’s Attorney, Ann Gardner, summarized the evidence in court Tuesday. On August 9, 2021, Officer Shawn Urban initiated a traffic stop on a Subaru driven by Wolfe in the town of Clifton Forge. Wolfe ignored the blue lights and siren. Instead of stopping, he fled onto Selma-Low Moor Road at a high rate of speed. Wolfe lost control of the vehicle and slid through a curve on the wrong side of the road causing him to collide with a moped driven by the victim, Randall Tinsley. The crash was witnessed by Thomas and Sarah Burnette who called 911. Wolfe sped away from the accident scene later crashing the Subaru and fleeing on foot.
The Virginia State Police and the Alleghany County Sheriff’s Office were called in to assist. Tracking dogs and a helicopter were used to search for Wolfe. Senior Trooper, Ben Hobbs of the Virginia State Police, investigated the fatality and later found Wolfe in Botetourt County.
Wolfe is scheduled to be sentenced for second-degree murder and felony eluding on September 12, 2022. Charges of involuntary manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident were not prosecuted.
The Virginian Review has been serving Covington, Clifton Forge, Alleghany County and Bath County since 1914.