Friday afternoon at the First Judicial District Courthouse, Jeremy Fogleman, age 40, from California, was convicted Thursday afternoon in the Harrison County Circuit Court to multiple counts of fleeing from the police causing death and injury. After two weeks in trial, the jury deliberated approximately two and a half hours before returning its verdicts.
Circuit Court Judge Larry Bourgeois sentenced the defendant to 50 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. The defendant’s convictions stemmed from the defendant fleeing after a Gulfport Police officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the defendant’s vehicle shortly after midnight on July 8, 2015. As the officer initiated his blue lights at the corner of 28th Street and Pass Road, the defendant fled from the officer heading east on Pass Road, reaching speeds over 100 mph.
As the defendant’s car approached the intersection of Pass Road and 8th Avenue, the defendant ran the red light and slammed into a 65-year-old motorist heading north of 8th Avenue. Those vehicles then struck another motorist who was stationary in the west-bound lane of Pass Road.
The pursuing Gulfport officer arrived at the scene seconds after the collision and observed the defendant exit the driver’s seat along as a passenger in the vehicle exited the passenger seat. The officer had a dash camera in his patrol vehicle which captured the defendant fleeing, and ultimately showed the defendant exiting the driver’s seat after the collision.
Initially, the first motorist struck was taken by ambulance to Memorial Hospital where he suffered multiple life-threatening injuries. The victim was then airlifted to Mobile where he died from his injuries 9 days later. The second motorist struck suffered multiple injuries to her lower extremities.
The Gulfport Police Department called one of their accident reconstructionist to the scene. Later, determined Fogleman’s car was traveling between 62 and 66 mph at the time of the collision. Additionally, the motorist killed was traveling between 21 and 25 at the time of the collision.
Finally, the police also obtained the “black box” from the defendant’s car which showed the defendant was traveling 100 mph 2 ½ seconds prior to impact and 65 mph just .5 seconds before impact. At trial, Fogleman argued he was not driving the car, that the police video had been manufactured, that his car’s brake system was faulty, and that the doctor’s malpractice had caused the victim’s death.
“During trial the State of Mississippi called a DNA expert who testified that the defendant’s blood was on the driver’s door panel, the driver’s seat, the driver’s airbag, and on the driver’s side of the passenger airbag,” stated Assistant District Attorney Matthew Burrell, who prosecuted the case with Jason Josef.
At sentencing, the prosecution cited to the Court that the defendant had prior felony convictions for driving under the influence and for fleeing from the police. “Pre-trial investigations also showed the defendant had 3 additional fleeing convictions from Florida,” stated ADA Burrell. Prior to pronouncing sentence, Judge Bourgeois told the defendant his actions were “deplorable” and that he had robbed the victim of his golden years.
Judge Bourgeois sentenced the defendant to a total of 50 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections as a habitual offender, which means the defendant will serve his 50 year sentence without any early release or parole.
“We are grateful for the investigation by the Gulfport Police Department and the sentence handed down by Judge Bourgeois. The defendant’s choices that night and his actions caused the death of a man who was loved by his family and friends. We are hopeful the closure of the criminal case can help with the healing process,” stated District Attorney Joel Smith.