ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — Florida Circuit Court Judge Jan Shackelford has sentenced John Thomas Puckett after he led multiple law enforcement agencies on a drug-influenced multi-state chase which resulted in two injured Florida Highway Patrol troopers.
The chase happened on May 12, 2020, when Puckett led the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office on a high-speed chase in a vehicle stolen out of Mobile, Alabama. Puckett crossed into Florida at over one hundred miles an hour. During the chase, the State Attorney’s Office says he passed numerous cars in a reckless manner, at times passing on the shoulder of the interstate. At that time, Florida had established a COVID-19 checkpoint at the weigh station. Puckett drove over the traffic cones to pass the checkpoint at high speed and ultimately crashed near exit #5 at Nine Mile Road. The vehicle he had stolen in Mobile was heavily damaged as a result of the crash. Two FHP troopers received serious injuries during a collision that occurred during the chase.
After Puckett was taken into custody, the State Attorney’s Office says it became apparent that he was under the influence of controlled substances. Bloodwork revealed that he was under the influence of methamphetamine and marijuana.
While receiving medical attention at the scene, he became violent towards the EMT treating him and spit on her. Additionally, Puckett did not have a valid driver’s license.
Puckett will serve 9 years in prison followed by 6 years of probation for Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding Causing Serious Bodily Injury, DUI Causing Property Damage, Driving Without a Valid Driver’s License and Battery upon an EMT/Paramedic.