A woman who allegedly sent police on a wild 40-mile chase last week that ended near downtown Lexington has now been charged with murder.
Lexington police charged Vanessa A. Napier in the death of a man whose body was found after officers were called to 5993 Athens Walnut Hill Pike to conduct a welfare check.
The name of the man will be released by the Fayette County coroner's office, pending notification of the victim's family.
Napier, 32, also is charged with tampering with physical evidence in connection with the man's death.
On Friday, police chased a stolen bucket truck — with Napier at the wheel, they said — through Fayette and Madison counties. Several law enforcement agencies joined in the pursuit.
Police said it began when Napier assaulted the owner of the truck about 10 a.m., hopped in and drove away, dragging the man about 50 feet down the road.
The truck was driven south on Interstate 75 into Madison County, where Richmond police found it and began pursuing. The driver turned around and returned to Fayette County, where Lexington police joined in the action.
Police tried several spike strips, but they were unsuccessful in stopping the truck.
After exiting I-75 at the Newtown Pike exit, the truck hit a few corners in Lexington on four flat rear tires, and finally came to a stop as it hit the back of a Kentucky State Police cruiser at a road block on West Main Street.
Napier had been charged with wanton endangerment, driving under the influence, robbery, fleeing or evading police, criminal mischief and driving on a suspended or revoked license in connection with the chase.
She was being held at the Fayette County jail on a $24,500 full cash bond. No bond had been set on the murder charge. Her arraignment is scheduled for Monday.