LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A man involved in a high-speed chase that killed a Kentucky police officer entered a not guilty plea Monday to charges that included murder, according to court records.
Wathaniel Lamont Woods, also known as James Woods, was arraigned in Jefferson District Court a day after being taken into custody on the charges. Bond was set at $1 million cash.
Woods is charged with killing Louisville Officer Nick Rodman, who died from injuries he suffered last week in a fiery crash resulting from the pursuit.
Louisville Police Chief Steve Conrad has said the chase began after police received several calls about shots being fired and arguing in a neighborhood west of downtown. The first officer who responded put out a description of the vehicle, which was spotted several blocks away by an officer who tried to stop it.
The driver fled, leading that officer and three others on a high-speed pursuit, Conrad said. The wreck occurred as Rodman attempted to join the chase.
Online jail records show Woods is also facing several other charges stemming from the pursuit and crash including assault, fleeing police, wanton endangerment, drug trafficking, being a convicted felon in possession of a handgun and driving on a suspended license.
The Courier-Journal reported that Woods has past convictions, including burglary and fourth-degree assault of a police officer; and pending charges that include cocaine trafficking.
His next court date in the officer’s death is April 13.
A funeral is planned Tuesday in Louisville for Rodman, who is survived by his wife and two children.
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