WISE, Va. — A South Carolina man has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the shooting death of a police officer in western Virginia in 2021.

Michael Donivan White, 36, of Cross, South Carolina, entered the plea Thursday in Wise County Circuit Court on the amended charge related to the death of Big Stone Gap Officer Michael Chandler, the Kingsport Times-News reported. Chandler, 29, was shot while responding to a call just outside the Big Stone Gap limits on Nov. 13, 2021, and died that evening. White was arrested in Tennessee.

White originally faced 13 charges, including aggravated murder of a police officer and felony murder, but agreed to plead guilty to first-degree murder if prosecutors agreed to ask for a 40- to 100-year sentence instead of a life term, Wise County Commonwealth’s Attorney Brett Hall said. Prosecutors consulted with Chandler’s family, including his widow, Natasha Chandler, and Big Stone Gap Police Chief Steve Hamm, Hall said.

Federal prosecutors and Hall's office are coordinating a similar plea agreement for federal charges White faced in Chandler’s death, Hall said.

White’s sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 21.

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