Two men sentenced for Chapel Hill carjacking

Jul. 23, 2013 @ 07:02 PM

The Orange County District Attorney called two men thugs as he argued for a harsh sentence against them for beating a woman and stealing her car last year.

Marcus Dontae Carpenter, 22, and Mark Troy Smith, 20, appeared together Tuesday afternoon in Orange County Criminal Superior Court to plead guilty to common law robbery, assault inflicting serious bodily injury and larceny of a motor vehicle for an incident that happened on Aug. 27, 2012.

Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall told Superior Court Judge Michael O'Foghuludha that the victim, a 60-year-old woman, came home from work and was attacked as soon as she got out of her car.

Someone hit her, and she fell to the ground and broke her wrist, Woodall said. She looked up and saw a hand grab her purse strap, but her purse was underneath her and as the person struggled to get it away from her, her shoulder was injured, Woodall said.

Woodall read a statement from the victim.

"I'm screaming in pain," she wrote. "I've never felt pain like this. I still can't fathom what happened."

The woman screamed, and one of the men told her shut up and punched her in the face, Woodall said.

Then the woman said she saw her car backing toward her. She pulled legs up as tight as she could to keep them from being run over as the man stealing her car backed up to leave, Woodall said.

Later, the woman was rushed to Duke Hospital. Her wrist was broken and her clavicle was broken in four places. She had to have surgeries to put in plates and screws and rods in her wrist and shoulder and her medical bills totaled $69,000. She wasn't able to return to work until December, Woodall said.

"She had extremely serious injuries that will be with her for the rest of her life," he said.

A neighbor called 911 when he heard her screaming and gave police a description of the two men who robbed her, and soon law enforcement officers were able to find the two men and a juvenile at New Hope Commons and take them into custody.

As it turned out, they had already stolen one car that day in Durham and committed several break-ins. They also were charged with kidnapping for having the juvenile, who was about 13, with them on their rampage, Woodall said.

The plea agreement called for them to receive sentences of 25 months to 39 months for the Orange County crimes, but it would be up to the judge to decide whether they would serve those sentences at the same time as the Durham sentences or after the Durham sentences.

Woodall argued for consecutive sentences.

"Two thugs beat her and robbed her and now they want to say, 'Be fair to me; don't give me another two or three years in prison,'" Woodall said.

The judge agreed with Woodall and gave Smith and Carpenter consecutive sentences, meaning they'll each spend at least eight years and six months to a maximum of 11 years and 11 months in prison for the Durham and the Orange County crimes.