A Northern Kentucky fugitive's run from the law came to an end when he broke both of his legs. Jeffrey Martin is recovering from his injuries in a Cincinnati hospital and will face some serious charges when he's well enough to return to Kentucky. He led police on a chase Thursday night which started at a popular Kentucky Walmart store and ended in downtown Cincinnati.
There are skid marks on 3rd Street where the chase almost came to a stop, until Martin jumped out of the car and hopped the fence to get away. He had no idea it was a 30 foot drop on the other side and the end of the road.
Martin has been a fugitive since February 13th when he didn't show up for court on drug and wanton endangerment charges in Newport. Thursday, the running stopped but not without a big finish.
At about 5:45 Thursday afternoon, Jeffrey Martin was confronted by Walmart security as he tried to walk out with $285 worth of golf balls. He threatened to cut them and left the store on foot as Remal Castleman was pulling in a parking spot near the front of the store. Castleman says "He jumped in the car, closed the door, and basically said, 'I need you to drive right now.' And I'm like, 'I don't know who are, get the 'F' out of my car.' And he started reaching in his pocked so I jumped out of my car."
Ft. Wright police say Martin then confronted a Taylor Mill woman in a red Camaro. She screamed for help and ran. Martin climbed into the driver's seat and took off in her car. We know where it ended up after Sheriff's deputies intercepted Martin. In a matter of minutes, Martin made the fast and furious leap from shoplifting to felony robbery.
Prosecutor Rob Sanders says the Walmart gets a lot of attention from his office. "It's not the first time we've had somebody take a misdemeanor theft to a robbery. Not the first time we've had a carjacking. These are the kinds of serious offenses you are going to have the risk of any time you have a plethora of crimes like we see outside this Walmart."
A call to Walmart was referred to corporate media relations. We have not heard back from them. Remal Castleman says he thinks the situation could have been handled better and has no plans of coming back. "I think the big takeaway is you can never be too safe. You never know at any given second who can get in your car and attack you or not. And I think that was the scenario yesterday."
Martin has a long history of arrests and told police he ran because he did not want to go back to jail. No one was injured in the store parking lot, but the Camaro suffered some serious damage when it hit the curb.
The prosecutor says Martin would only have faced a year in the county jail if he'd been arrested for shoplifting. But because of the carjacking, he's now facing up to 20 years in state prison.