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Man charged with shooting Martinsville police officer found guilty

He was found guilty on all four charges, including attempted capital murder

A Martinsville man will soon learn his fate for trying to kill a police officer.
A Martinsville man will soon learn his fate for trying to kill a police officer.

MARTINSVILLE, Va. – The Martinsville man who was charged with shooting a Martinsville police officer on New Year’s Day has been found guilty, according to the Henry County Circuit Court Clerk.

This comes after 37-year-old Thomas Joe Braxton III shot Martinsville police officer Michael Panos in his left arm on Jan. 1, according to Martinsville City officials.

Authorities report that at about 9:40 p.m. that same day, an officer tried to pull Braxton over; however, he was uncompliant and drove away, leading the police on a chase.

As the chase continued, Braxton jumped out of his moving truck, which rolled down an embankment, went over Joseph Martin Highway and crashed.

After police found him, authorities say the pursuit ended in shots being fired in front of the Glen Ridge Apartments.

During the exchange, both Panos and Braxton were shot.

[’You can’t even go outside sometimes’: Neighbors react to Martinsville officer-involved shooting]

On Jan. 2, Braxton was arrested on the following charges in connection to the incident:

  • One count of attempted capital murder
  • One count use of a firearm in the commission of a felony
  • One count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon
  • One count of felony eluding

On Aug. 11, Braxton was found guilty of all charges and will be sentenced on Dec. 22 at 2 p.m., according to authorities.


About the Author:

Jazmine Otey joined the 10 News team in February 2021.