Attempted murder alleged in December high-speed chase

March 13, 2024
 |
Exmore accident

By Linda Cicoira

      A Norfolk man, who crashed his vehicle on Lankford Highway in Exmore ending a high-speed-police chase last December, was indicted by a Northampton Grand Jury Monday on 13 counts that included attempted murder of both Exmore Police Chief Angelo DeMartino and Northampton Deputy Lt. Steve Lewis.

     The driver of the car, 31-year-old Brandon Theophilus Gibson, of Lens Avenue, was suspected of crimes in Worcester County, Md., Accomack County, and Northampton in a spree on Dec. 7, 2023. Twenty-eight-year-old Christopher Orbeta, of George Drive in Chesapeake, Gibson’s accomplice, was also a suspect for related crimes.

     No charges could be found for either man in online judicial records for Maryland. Gibson was charged with malicious wounding, which was certified to a grand jury in Accomack District Court earlier this month for Gibson. There were no charges listed in Accomack for Orbeta.

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     In Northampton, both men were indicted on counts of robbery with a weapon of an Exmore Hampton Inn worker and robbery with a weapon of a Kiptopeke Royal Farms worker. Orbeta was also indicted on a count of abduction of another woman with intent to extort money. 

      Gibson was indicted on counts of abduction with intent to extort money from a Royal Farms worker and a Hampton Inn worker; disarming a police officer of a gun; eluding police; use of a firearm in a felony; attempted aggravated premeditated murder of DiMartino to interfere with the officer’s duties; obstruction of justice by resisting arrest and committing a violent felony; stabbing, cutting, or wounding a person; robbery of the Hampton Inn with a deadly weapon, attempting to murder Lt. Lewis to interfere with his duties; and assault and battery of Lewis.

     At about 4:35 a.m. that day, the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a robbery at the Kiptopeke convenience store. About an hour later, another robbery was reported at Hampton Inn & Suites. Then at about 7:40 a.m., the Accomack Sheriff’s Office received a report of an armed robbery at the Nelsonia Corner Mart. A second armed robbery was reported about 20 minutes later at the Temperanceville Corner Mart. Then an armed robbery report was made to Worcester County police at the Pocomoke Advance Auto Parts store.

    It was concluded that two men had committed the crimes. A description of the vehicle was made and officers began canvasing the three counties to find the culprits.

     At about 9 a.m., Accomack deputies observed a suspected vehicle going south through the Temperanceville area. A traffic stop was attempted, but the vehicle fled at speeds of 120 mph. Police pursued it with lights and sirens. The chase continued for around 10 minutes when the suspect lost control of the vehicle near the Hardees in Exmore, crossed the median, and collided with two northbound vehicles.

    Both suspects attempted to exit the vehicle and flee on foot but were quickly apprehended. Gibson physically resisted arrest, and an Accomack K-9 unit was deployed. 

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