Local News

Carolina Beach fires linked to Raleigh hit-and-run

Posted December 8, 2014

— A man charged in a fatal hit-and-run that killed two people in Wake County 10 months ago is now a person of interest in three fires – one fatal – that authorities believe were intentionally set over the weekend at Carolina Beach.

Marshall Hudson Doran, 22, of Kure Beach, remained in a New Hanover County jail Monday on a $2.5 million bond after making his first court appearance on an attempted burglary charge.

He has not been charged in connection with the weekend fires – which destroyed 12 condominiums – or the deaths of two people who were staying inside a beachfront condo at 409 Carolina Beach Avenue South.

The other two fires – all on the same stretch of road – were within the same period and were within a mile of each other.

Authorities arrested Doran on the attempted burglary charge, which involves a fourth residence on Carolina Beach Avenue.

At the time of his arrest, Doran was out of jail on a $500,000 bond on charges stemming from his Feb. 13 arrest in Wake County, where the North Carolina State Highway Patrol says he killed two men on Interstate 40 near Garner.

Investigators said Doran was on his way from Kure Beach to Chapel Hill to visit his girlfriend when he allegedly swerved to avoid a truck and ended up hitting and killing Nathaniel Williams, 34, of Hope Mills, and Larry Kepley, 39, of Winston-Salem, who were on the shoulder of the highway.

Both Kepley and Williams had stopped to help a driver who wrecked in the snow and ice along the road.

Authorities found Doran – who had been drinking wine at the time of the wreck – hiding in some nearby woods. A grand jury later indicted him on two counts each of felony death by motor vehicle, felony hit-and-run, and one count of driving while impaired.

A trial date has not been set in the Wake County cases.

"The first thing that pops into my mind is 10 months," Kepley's mother, Sandra Kepley, said Monday upon hearing of Doran's new charge and the possibility of being connected to the fire deaths. "I feel so sorry for the victims' families."

Doran's attorney, Roger Smith Jr., had no comment on the cases Monday.


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  • eyeoneastsky Dec 9, 2014

    Have the victims been identified yet?

  • Cabe Merritt Dec 9, 2014
    user avatar

    This guy has killed 3 people at this point. He needs to be put away for good.

  • makeitright Dec 9, 2014

    just keep letting criminals out and about and they become familiar faces in the news. When will this system get tougher on those that chose to do whatever they want.

  • sidecutter Dec 9, 2014

    It is time for this guy to be denied bail and put away until trial.