Charges certified against man accused of trying to run over state senator

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PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — The case against a man accused of trying to run over a state senator from Portsmouth earlier this year is moving forward.

James Taliaferro was arrested in March, and was accused of smashing in the front door of Lucas Lodge.

Taliaferro was a former employee of the Lucas Lodge, and was fired after he failed a background test. The lodge, which is run by Sen. Louise Lucas, provides housing and services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Surveillance video from the lodge showed a dark Ford SUV smashing through the entrance. Police said Taliaferro confessed to being the driver.

Lucas’ daughter, Portsmouth Council Member Lisa Lucas-Burke, said in March she and her mother followed the SUV to a nearby Family Dollar after spotting it in the lodge’s parking lot.

Lucas-Burke said they got out and began taking photos of the SUV, before Taliaferro recognized Lucas and tried to run her over.

Taliaferro appeared before a judge Wednesday morning. A spokesman with the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office said charges of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of destruction of property and eluding police were certified.

One of the charges — a misdemeanor destruction of property charge — was dropped and will be recertified as a felony charge.

His trial is scheduled to begin Aug. 6, 2018.

Stay with WAVY.com for the latest developments.

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