Man who lost parents in Shelby accident says he forgives driver

by: Alexa Ashwell Updated:

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SHELBY —

A Shelby man whose parents were tragically killed and whose son was seriously injured told Channel 9 he forgives the man who police said is responsible.

Investigators said Dorman and Frances Pompey, both 55, were killed when Demetrist Roberts crashed his car into the Pompeys’ car on West Marion Street in Shelby Saturday. The Pompeys’ grandson, Elijah Shiheem Pompey ,12, was also injured in the crash. He was rushed to Carolinas Medical Center Main and on Sunday was listed in fair condition, according to hospital officials.

Investigators said Roberts ran a red light because he was trying to get away from police who had started to chase him for speeding but stopped because there were so many people in downtown Shelby for a festival.

Roberts is facing two counts of second-degree murder and DWI charges. But, the father of Shiheem, who is also the son of Dorman and Frances Pompey, told Channel 9 over the phone that he's not concerned with Roberts.

"I don't have any hard feelings against that gentleman," said Julian Pompey. "I can't pray for my son's recovery with hate in my heart. I need to focus on my child.  Any punishment Roberts receives will be between himself and God."

Roberts made his first appearance in court via video conference Monday morning.

His bond was set at $1.5 million and a probable cause hearing was set for May 19.

Many relatives of Roberts were in court and though they did not want to speak about him, they did say, "We are praying for the other family."

Roberts looked down the whole time during the video conference, not showing much expression or reaction.

An officer involved in Saturday's high-speed chase spoke before a judge Monday morning and said Roberts was very uncooperative, belligerent and combative. He also said Roberts ran from vehicle and gave an incorrect name initially.

Roberts then asked if he could say something. When the judge reminded him he has the right to remain silent, Roberts said, "I wasn't uncooperative."