Gold Hill man leads Rowan deputies on high-speed chase

Published 6:43 pm Monday, March 25, 2019

SALISBURY — A Gold Hill man faces numerous drug charges and remains jailed after he took sheriff’s deputies on a high-speed chase that ended in a crash.

The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office charged Matthew Kelly Martin, 30, with felony possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver a controlled substance Schedule I; misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance Schedule II; misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance Schedule II; misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance Schedule IV; misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance Schedule VI; misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia; felony fleeing to elude arrest; felony assault with a deadly weapon on a law enforcement officer; misdemeanor injury to real property; and misdemeanor carrying a concealed weapon.

Curtis Lynn Stirewalt Jr., 31, of the 49500 block of Parkers Memorial Road, Richfield, was charged with four counts of misdemeanor failure to appear in court.

Jennifer Selena Earnhardt, 20, of the 300 block of Palmer Circle, Rockwell, was charged with misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance Schedule II and misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance Schedule IV.

About 11:15 p.m. Friday, an officer with the Granite Quarry-Faith Police Authority received information that Martin would be in the area of Walmart driving a green Jeep. Martin was already being sought by Rowan County authorities. Officials said he had a suspended driver’s license.

A Rowan deputy spotted the vehicle in the parking lot with no one in it, so he waited. Martin returned to the vehicle along with two other people and left the parking lot. The deputy attempted to make a traffic stop. According to a report, Martin sped up, traveled onto East Innes Street, weaved in and out of traffic, turned right onto Faith Road and through a stoplight near the Innes Street Market shopping center. He then made a right turn onto Jake Alexander Boulevard.

Martin was traveling 95 mph as deputies pursued him. He turned left onto Old Concord Road, cut through the Assembly Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses on Old Concord Road, through a field behind the building and into the Stafford Estates subdivision. He drove through the backyards of a couple of homes, destroyed a mailbox, collided with a deputy’s patrol car, and collided with a brick mailbox before he crashed into a ditch.

The deputy who Martin collided with slid into Martin’s vehicle after the crash.

Martin ran from the vehicle and was pursued by deputies and K-9 Fanta. He was caught a short time later.

Deputies found several plastic bags with methamphetamine inside and some marijuana. They also found pills that included Vivance, a stimulant used to treat attention deficit disorder, and Alprazolam, commonly known as Xanax. Authorities said Martin also had a glass smoking pipe, two digital scales, and a club that was made from a pipe with tape wrapped around it.

A number of cellphones were found in the vehicle.

Martin remains in the Rowan County Detention Center under a $50,000 secured bond. Stirewalt remains in the county jail under a $2,500 secured bond. Earnhardt remains in jail under a $1,500 secured bond.