Local News

Raleigh attorneys to represent man charged in fatal beach fire deaths

Posted January 22, 2015

Marshall Doran

— A man accused of setting fire to three Carolina Beach condominiums last month has hired his own attorneys to defend him against two counts of first-degree murder in the case.

Marshall Hudson Doran, 22, of Kure Beach, went before a New Hanover County judge on Thursday to waive his right to be represented by court-appointed counsel on the charges.

Doran has hired Raleigh attorneys Roger Smith Jr. and Doug Kingsbery of the Tharrington Smith LLP to represent him in the case.

Carolina Beach police arrested Doran Dec. 7 on an attempted burglary charge and later charged him in connection with the early-morning fires, which killed two women and destroyed 12 beachfront condominiums along a stretch of Carolina Beach Avenue South.

Investigators haven't commented on a motive for the alleged crimes.

New Hanover County District Attorney Ben David announced in court that he plans to take the case before a grand jury on Feb. 2.

Doran, meanwhile, remains in jail without bond.

He was arrested on several charges last February in Wake County in connection with a fatal hit-and-run on Interstate 40.

Authorities said he failed to stop after he hit and killed two men on the shoulder of the highway as he tried to avoid a truck that had spun out in the snow.

Charges, including felony death by motor vehicle, hit-and-run and impaired driving, in that case are still pending.


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  • miseem Jan 22, 2015

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    You would be surprised what these attornies will try, with a straight face. And they may get him off with a few years if they get the right jury. The biggest injustice in all of this is that the parents can spend as much as they want to defend this guy, but are probably immune from any suit by victims for damages.

  • Edward Levy Jan 22, 2015
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    if he can be proved to have done the crime, then let him do the time

  • Raleigh Joe Jan 22, 2015

    Guess his wealthy parents are hoping Roger Smith can get their son out of accepting responsibility for these horrific crime. Just like he did for Dr. Cook after he killed the young ballerina several years ago on Strickland Rd.

  • liskm Jan 22, 2015

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    Well, maybe the use to until now. Perhaps would have been better investment to have applied more parenting skills toward this miscreant.

  • Geez Louise Jan 22, 2015

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  • Mr. Middle of the Road Jan 22, 2015

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    Isuspect that they were hired with the intent of saving his life. I don't foresee this guy ever seeing the light of day again.

  • injameswetrust2003 Jan 22, 2015

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    I can't imagine what the lawyers could do for him other than try to get a plea deal.

  • Fanny Chmelar Jan 22, 2015
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    He'll make a fine girlfriend in jail, I'm sure.

  • Frizz Jan 22, 2015

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    Roger Smith's brother, Wade, is the former chairman of the Democratic Party for the State of North Carolina. Both Smith brothers were law parters with John Edwards.

  • stymieindurham Jan 22, 2015

    same crimes and same faces. I wish Tillis and Berger would speak to the community on these issues.
    Hmmmmm. Don't see your connection with this, unless it's because their Republican???