Corning man gets eight years in state prison

James Robert Smith


A Corning man well known to local police for leading them on high speed pursuits through town has been sentenced to eight years in state prison.

James Robert Smith, 54, was hand down the sentence in Tehama County Superior Court this month for charges of felony assault with a deadly weapon other then firearm on peace officer or firefighter, transport/furnish controlled substance/methamphetamine, possession of a controlled substance for sale, attempt to avoid peace officer with reckless driving, and vandalism.

The charges stems from an attempted traffic stop by a Corning police officer on Smith, who was on parole, in March. Smith allegedly back his vehicle into the officer’s patrol car, then drove away. The officer pursued Smith through Corning at speeds reaching 75 mph.

The chase ended when Smith again rammed his vehicle backwards into the police car and then ran away, reported the Tehama County District Attorney’s Office. 

When Smith was caught and arrested following a short foot chase,  he was allegedly found to be in possession of 46 grams of methamphetamine, a scale, and packaging materials.

This was the second such experience the Corning police had with Smith, who in July 2015 led officers on a pursuit following an attempted traffic stop on West Street.

That chase reportedly reached 80 mph, ending when Smith struck another vehicle and was within inches of hitting the Mueser Memorial Healthcare Center on Solano Street at Marguerite Avenue.

While running from the scene, Smith was caught and arrested after being tased by a police officer. He was booked into the Tehama County Jail on numerous felony charges.

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