HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The man accused of trying to rob a TD Bank in Myrtle Beach, and then leading officers on a chase through Conway days later, has pleaded guilty to those charges.
Public court records in Horry County show that 20-year-old Derek Manquel Brice of Conway pleaded guilty to entering bank, depository or bldg and loan association with intent to steal on Thursday.
He was sentenced to seven years, suspended to five years and four years probation and ordered to pay court costs.
Brice was booked back into J. Reuben Long Detention Center following his sentencing.
Early in 2001, officers were calling off the search for Brice during a manhunt, but moments later were able the teen who reportedly robbed a Myrtle Beach bank dressed as a woman.
Catina Hipp, spokesperson for the Conway Police Department, told WMBF News a man fitting the description of a wanted bank robber who dressed as a woman was spotted at a business Tuesday morning.
The suspect reportedly fled the scene in a burgundy vehicle once he was recognized, and employees called police to report the spotting, Hipp said.
Conway Police officers later spotted the vehicle of the suspect at a gas station in Conway and attempted to stop the vehicle when a chase ensued.
"[The officer] located the vehicle, got behind the vehicle attempting to make a traffic stop on the vehicle, but the driver didn't stop," Hipp explained.
The driver, identified as Derek Manquel Brice, then 19 years old, wrecked his vehicle in a ditch in front of the Conway Golf Club on Country Club Drive and fled on foot, Hipp said.
Conway Police, with the assistance of Horry County Police, set up a perimeter in the area of Country Club Drive near Hwy 701 as they continued to search Brice.
Golf Course Worker Howard Ware said Brice ran dangerously close to him as he tried to evade police.
"I could've touched him," Ware explained. "I could've tripped him, if I'd known what kind of criminal he was. Now I'm glad I didn't."
Ware said Brice was wearing a large, dark brown mink coat, which he struggled to take off and then discard as he fled police behind the clubhouse, into the woods behind the golf course.
Golf club restaurant manager Missy Goodwin said golf course management shut down all but 4 holes at the Conway Golf Club as police combed the area for Brice, causing concern especially for customers who live nearby.
"We've got people coming in, asking questions, wanting to know what's going on," Goodwin said. "We're such a community, neighborhood business, people were worried more than anything."
Hipp said officers had called off the search for Brice when one of their search dogs picked up a fresh scent, leading officers to Brice hiding in the bushes just blocks away from the Conway Golf Club, who was then taken into custody.
The suspect will likely be charged with failure to stop for blue lights by Conway Police, Hipp told WMBF News. Booking records show that charge was disposed.
Lt. Doug Furlong with the Myrtle Beach Police Department said Wednesday that Brice was charged with armed robbery in connection to the TD Bank robbery, to which he pleaded guilty on Thursday, July 19.