Wise County Commonwealth's Attorney Chuck Slemp said 42 year-old Christopher Scott Hale was convicted by a jury of felony assault and battery of a law enforcement officer.
Slemp said the evidence presented at trial revealed that on Jan. 10, Wise County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to the Coeburn area on a call of a man knocking on doors at Sheffield Apartments in the middle of the night. Upon arrival, they found Hale, who they believed to be intoxicated. He was placed under arrest on a drunk in public charge.
While officers were processing the arrest at the Sheriff's Office in Wise and awaiting Hale's transportation to the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail at Duffield, Hale repeatedly told officers that he was going to spit on them, Slemp said. Without provocation, Hale then lunged forward and spat on Deputy Zachary Clifton, hitting Clifton on the chest near his face, the attorney added.
Sentencing is scheduled for April 7. Hale also faces a charge of violation of probation on the Commonwealth's motion that he be ordered to serve previously suspended sentence from a similar incident last year for spitting on a Coeburn Police Officer.