Tolbert given 12-month jail sentence

Shawn Michael Tolbert (New River Regional Jail photo)

Patriot Staff Report

A man who led police on a multi-county manhunt for 20 days back in August of 2022 will serve 12 months in jail – the maximum sentence that could be imposed for the conviction.

Pulaski County Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Nicole S. Cumberland reported Friday that Shawn Tolbert elected to be tried by a jury of his peers on Feb. 7.

After hearing the evidence, the jury found Tolbert guilty of obstructing justice in Pulaski County on Aug. 30, 2022.

The judge in the case sentenced Tolbert to serve 12 months in jail.

Cumberland noted that several law enforcement agencies were involved in locating Tolbert and taking him into custody. Specifically, she said, the Virginia State Police and Dublin Police Department were crucial in finding Tolbert and ensuring the community’s safety while making the arrest.

The Patriot reported in 2022 that on Tuesday, Aug. 30 of that year, a Town of Dublin citizen contacted the Dublin Police Department and stated that based upon photos from the local news, he observed someone that appeared to be Shawn Michael Tolbert, a wanted fugitive of Craig and Montgomery counties.

Local agencies, including the U.S. Marshals Service, Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office, Virginia State Police and the Virginia Conservation Police came together to look for Tolbert.

A Dublin Police Officer in an unmarked vehicle had a second sighting of Tolbert and all the units were deployed to where he was staying, which turned out to be a bus in a back yard in Dublin.

The Virginia State Police deployed a tactical team, and they safely took Tolbert into custody.