Florida man arrested after death threats and high speed chase

RIPLEY, W.Va. — Jackson County investigators say threats made by a man in Florida were enough to create significant concern when they were reported earlier this week. Michael Parton is lodged in the South Central Regional Jail in lieu of $500,000 bond.

Michael Parton

Chief Deputy Ross Mellinger said Parton called his estranged wife in Ripley to say he was on his way from Florida.

“He had contacted her throughout the night and explained that he was in Florida and had just stolen a car,” Mellinger explained. “He said he was coming to essentially kidnap her and take her back to Florida and that he planned to kill her new boyfriend in Ripley before they left.”

Mellinger said all threats are taken seriously, but this one took on an added degree of concern because of the circumstances. Deputies were able to track Parton and learned he had stayed in Knoxville, Tennessee and was headed toward West Virginia. Three weeks ago, he had also engaged in another domestic dispute which led to a high speed chase in which speeds exceeded 130 mils and hour on I-77.

“Any individual who is going to steal a vehicle five states away and travel overnight, regardless of what their intentions are, they’re serious about getting it done,” Mellinger said.

Deputies were able to track Parton’s progress and had deputies from the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department aiding in the surveillance as he traveled through the Charleston area and onto I-77 north into Jackson County. Award of the previous flight, Mellinger, other deputies, and law enforcement were in position in case he ran. According to Mellinger, he did.

“We were able to get a road block using spike strips here in Jackson County,” Mellinger said. “Speeds reached about 105 on I-77.”

Mellinger said the vehicle was reported stolen in Florida, but Parton did not have a firearm. Deputies sought to make the arrest and stop in the Kenna area due to the remote nature and sparse number of homes nearby. PartonĀ  remained in jail Friday afternoon.



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