Avis pleads guilty in Hodgenville officer's death

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Judge sentences former Vine Grove man to 15 years

By Sarah Bennett

A former Vine Grove man pleaded guilty this morning to second-degree manslaughter in the September 2012 death of Hodgenville Police Officer Mark A. Taulbee.

Jason Lee Avis, 30, was arrested Sept. 16, 2012, after police said he led Taulbee on a vehicle pursuit that ended when the officer lost control of his cruiser.

Today, Avis admitted in court to driving speeds of up to 100 miles per hour and seeing an officer in pursuit of him but not stopping. Members of Taulbee's family and Hodgenville Police Chief Steve Johnson were present for the hearing.

LaRue Circuit Judge Charles Sims III sentenced Avis to 15 years in prison for second-degree manslaughter, first-degree fleeing or evading police, leaving the scene of an accident and second-degree persistent felony offense.