Richard Corey Sellers will spend the next eight years in the penitentiary. Alexandria Circuit Court Judge John Kloch sentenced Sellers last Thursday. Sellers had earlier pleaded guilty to all of the six counts on which he was indicted.
Kloch sentenced Sellers to 23 years in the penitentiary but suspended all except eight. “The sentencing guidelines called for him to serve five years and two months and we asked for 17 years,” said Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Brian Porter. “The judge did a good job in kind of splitting the difference.”
On April 19, 2003, at about 6:45 p.m., two individuals in a pickup truck were struck from behind by a Lexus sedan as they were traveling on North Jordan Street. The passenger in the pickup was able to get out of the vehicle and call 911, but the driver was trapped behind the steering wheel. There were three people in the Lexus. The driver and one passenger fled the scene. The other passenger, Sellers, got out of the Lexus, reached back into the vehicle and retrieved a semi automatic pistol. He ultimately fired one round, aiming at nothing in particular, and began pacing around the crash scene.
Deputy Police Chief Joe Hilleary, who lived nearby, came to the scene after calling for assistance. Hilleary and firefighters and paramedics arrived at about the same time. Hilleary and firefighters attempted to subdue Sellers and take his weapon. Sellers fired at them and began to run away. He stopped and pointed his weapon at Hilleary and a firefighter who was attempting to assist the driver of the pickup. Despite repeated warnings, Sellers would not drop his weapon. Finally, Hilleary shot him in the leg and he fell to the ground and was taken into custody. After he was shot, he spit five items from his mouth which were determined to be five rocks of crack cocaine.
THE DEFENSE argued that Sellers should serve the minimum for his crimes because he had no previous criminal record except driving on a suspended license. They further said that the events of April 19 occurred because Sellers was under the influence of PCP at the time. Porter argued that Sellers took the drugs of his own free will and that this should not be considered as mitigating circumstances.
In addition to the eight years that he will serve in the penitentiary, Sellers faces a lifetime of adjusting to physical disabilities as a result of the incident. His leg was amputated at the hip. Also, he shot himself in the hand and is unable to use two of his fingers.