WILMINGTON, N.C. (WNCN) — A Durham man has been sentenced after pleading guilty to possessing a stolen car and other charges connected to a chase in Carolina Beach in September 2022.
Authorities said Tuesday that Demario Martin was sentenced Monday as a habitual felon and ordered to serve 67 to 93 months in prison.
An officer in Carolina Beach was on routine patrol at around 6 a.m. on Sept. 2 when he came upon a person sleeping in a Ford Fusion near the 100 block of Harper Avenue. Because sleeping is a violation of a town ordinance, the officer encountered the driver and a passenger.
Police said the officer called for backup because of the pair’s nervous behavior. When the officer told the driver, later identified as Martin, that other officers were en route, Martin closed the car door and drove off at a high rate of speed.
Assisting officers saw the Ford Fusion drive off with the initial officer chasing it on foot, police said. The officers chased after the carm activating lights and sirens.
Police said Martin ran multiple stop signs, a red light, and hit speeds of 60 mph in a 25 mph zone and 80 in a 45 zone.
As Martin approached an intersection of Dow Road and North Lake Park Boulevard, he struck the median and drove through a red light onto Risley Road, which is a dead-end street, police said.
Martin then fled the car and could not be found at that time. Further investigation revealed that the car was stolen out of Durham and that the passenger, Cherie Wood, was suspected of stealing the vehicle, police said.
Police received a call at around 10 a.m. that day about a suspicious person matching the description of Martin was asking people for a cellphone in order to make a call, police said.
Officers responded to the 900 block of Lake Park Boulevard, found Martin, and took him into custody. In addition to the stolen vehicle charge, Martin pleaded guilty to felony flee to elude, drug charges, and traffic offenses.