Man charged in double fatal hit-and-run on I-40 during winter storm gets lower bond

Two Good Samaritans were struck by a vehicle after a crash on Interstate 40 following a winter storm last month.
March 6, 2014 4:03:45 PM PST
A college student accused of killing two Good Samaritans on Interstate 40 during a winter storm last month, was in court Thursday morning as a Wake County judge decided to lower his bond.

Marshall Hudson Doran, of Kure Beach, was originally charged with two counts of second-degree murder following the Feb. 13 incident and a magistrate set his bond at $5 million. The charge was later lowered to felony death by a motor vehicle, and his bond was reduced to $500,000.

On Thursday, the 21 year old's bond was lowered again to $400,000 during a bond hearing.

During the hearing, a prosecutor revealed alleged statements Doran made to Wake County deputies when he was arrested.

Authorities took Doran into custody after they found his Volvo on Lake Wheeler Road in Raleigh. Police said it was the same car that fled the scene after hitting 39-year-old Larry Kepley of Winston-Salem and 34-year-old Nathaniel Williams as they attempted to help drivers who lost control on the snow-covered interstate around 9 p.m. near the Wake-Johnston County line.

Kepley died at the scene, while Williams was taken to WakeMed in critical condition - where he later died. Williams had just returned from a year-long deployment in Afghanistan the month before.

Authorities said the University of North Carolina at Wilmington student was driving under the influence and had illegal drugs in his possession at the time of the crash.

According to a search warrant, Doran asked if he had hit anyone when he was arrested.

Prosecutor Jeff Cruden told the judge Thursday that he also asked if whoever he may have hit was "dead."

Doran, according to the prosecutor, was on his way to visit his girlfriend in Chapel Hill from Kure Beach when the accident happened.

Cruden said investigators found a receipt in his car for strawberries, chocolate, and a bottle of wine.

"He was on his way to Chapel Hill where his girlfriend was," Cruden said. "The next day was Valentine's Day. He'd bought some strawberries, chocolate, and a bottle of wine. When they found the car they found the strawberries and the chocolate, but not the wine. So that's what I told Judge Rader was - our contention is - he had drank that wine on the trip up here."

"We finally found him coming out of the woods. By then he had already called his girlfriend to come pick him up. His plan was to get in that car and leave until, fortunately, the law enforcement officers caught him," said Cruden, who called Doran a flight risk.

Doran's attorney was disappointed the judge only dropped the bond to $400,000, not the $100,000 he asked for, but he added that was not what was important.

"[Doran] and his entire family are grief stricken for the families involved here, for the loved ones they lost. That's really all they're thinking about. We were heard on bond today. This isn't about a bond hearing today this is about the families - always will be," said Doran's attorney, Roger Smith.

It is not clear if Doran's parents will be able to come up with the $400,000 bond.

Doran faces a long prison term. He is charged with -- among other things -- death by motor vehicle, hit and run, reckless, driving, and DWI. He is currently being held at the Wake County Detention Center.

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