Police: Wheeling Chase Suspect Carjacked Mother
The man accused of leading police on a high-speed chase across Ohio and Marshall counties has waived his right to a preliminary hearing, while new details from police indicate he allegedly carjacked his mother.
Joseph Thomas Walton Jr., 29, of Wheeling, was not present in the courtroom Tuesday for his 9:30 a.m. scheduled hearing. His attorney, Robert Gaudio, appeared on his behalf, while Ohio County Assistant Prosecutor Shawn Turak represented the state. Gaudio told Ohio County Magistrate Charles Murphy that Walton was waiving his right to his hearing.
Police have said since the Nov. 24 arrest that Walton’s mother allegedly was taking him to Northwood Health Systems to be involuntarily committed that day. After attempting to stop the car several times en route by pulling on the emergency brake, Walton allegedly climbed into the driver’s seat once the pair arrived at Northwood and his mother got out of the car. Police said he then drove off.
From there, Walton allegedly led police on a chase that reached speeds of more than 100 mph. They began on National Road in the Fulton neighborhood, drove part of Interstate 70 to the Elm Grove area and then finally went out Stone Church Road to Dallas. Police said they came to a stop when Walton got stuck in the mud in a yard along Wheeling Lane. Police said Walton failed a field sobriety test.
Walton had been convicted in 2017 of failing to stop for police in Bridgeport. He also had a warrant issued in Belmont County in late November for not appearing for a probation hearing in that case, as well as one issued for a charge of wanton endangerment with a firearm.
Walton faces charges in Ohio County of fleeing from an officer in a vehicle while under the influence and grand larceny auto. He remains jailed in lieu of $15,000 bond.