Local News

Morrisville man pleads guilty to running over cyclists during test drive

Posted November 17, 2017 10:28 a.m. EST
Updated July 13, 2018 1:40 p.m. EDT

— A Morrisville man will spend at least 15 years in prison for mowing down a group of bicyclists on High House Road in Cary a year ago.

Christopher Moore, 35, of Page Street, pleaded guilty Friday to two counts of hit-and-run inflicting serious bodily injury and to being a habitual felon and was sentenced to 182 to 231 months in prison. Superior Court Judge Graham Shirley also ordered him to undergo substance abuse and mental health counseling in prison.

Moore hit four cyclists on Oct. 17, 2016, while test driving a neighbor's car. A short time later, a man called 911 to report that a man had stopped in his neighborhood, pulled a bike off the hood of his car, tossed it aside and sped away.

Two of the cyclists weren't hurt, but Ginny Davis and Lori Cove suffered serious injuries.

"It's been suggested that the defendant's conduct for which he is being punished for a mistake," Shirley said. "The mistake, if it was a mistake, was hitting two cyclists on the road. What he's being punished for is leaving them like animals."

Davis, 55, of Cary, has had seven surgeries to correct several bone fractures in her leg. She was in the courtroom Friday in a wheelchair. Cove, 48, of Raleigh, had to fight for her life after suffering a traumatic brain injury and now lives in a rehabilitation center in Charlotte.

Several relatives and friends of the two women asked for the maximum sentence for Moore, who had six previous convictions for driving while impaired, as well as convictions for driving with a revoked license and speeding to elude arrest.

"Lori would not hate Mr. Moore. She's not that kind of person," Cove's sister, Kristen Cove, said in court. "But she would want to protect the community. She would want to do whatever she could to make sure this doesn't happen to anyone else."

"He shouldn't have been on the road this time. I don't know what you do to make that happen," said Davis' husband, Rod Davis.

Moore twice apologized in court for his actions.

"There's nothing I can do or say to chance what I've done, but I am sorry for what I've done, and I deserve to be punished," he said.