RICHLAND COUNTY, SC (WIS) - The atmosphere was tense inside a Richland County courtroom on Sunday when a man accused of leading Richland County deputies on a dramatic car chase had his first appearance before a judge.
Bryan Martin, 22, is accused of initiating a high-speed chase through Columbia Saturday night with his 1-year-old daughter inside of the car. He faces several charges including child endangerment.
Martin's bond for the child endangerment charge was set by a judge at $100,000. Another bond was set at $3,000 for lesser charges including driving under suspension and simple possession of marijuana.
The mother of the toddler who was inside of the car, Dellavia Jenkins, was in the courtroom on Sunday to defend Martin.
"I understand where people are coming from when they say I shouldn't be on his side but they don't know the true story," Jenkins told WIS in an exclusive interview. "He is a great father. He loves his daughter. That bond is unbreakable."
However, despite Jenkins saying that she has no concerns with Martin seeing their daughter, the judge still ruled that he is not allowed to make any contact with the almost 2-year-old. Martin broke down into tears in the courtroom when that ruling was announced. Other family members, including Jenkins, were also distraught.
"Yea, he made a stupid decision not stopping the first time, that was the dumbest decision. But please, just re-watch the video and you can see the car is on fire and he is trying to get away from the car. He's not trying to get away from the officer," Jenkins explained.
The chase, which was captured live on A&E's Live PD, started on Furwood Drive and ended at Elmore and North Main when Martin's car flipped. Martin is then seen on video getting out of the car with the baby in his arms and trying to fight a Richland County deputy.
Martin is being held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.