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1 brother guilty, 1 acquitted in murder of Navy sailor

Courtroom and gavel. (Joe Gratz/Flickr)

Jurors acquitted a 38-year-old man in a 2016 shooting that killed a Navy sailor and injured another man.

Tremaine “Bull” Martin stood trial for three days last week, charged with second-degree murder, malicious wounding and gun crimes. After deliberating for about three hours, jurors acquitted him on all charges Thursday.

The verdict came two days after Martin’s brother, Raymond “Bubba Chuck” Martin, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, malicious wounding, and a gun charge instead of risking trial. In the deal, prosecutors agreed to cap his time in prison at 25 years. His sentencing is scheduled for October.

Prosecutors painted the Martins as heavily armed shooters who mowed down two unarmed men, and then coldly joked about it. Prosecutor Cindy Collard pointed to a text Tremaine Martin sent the day after the two men were shot:

“2 for 1 today lol”

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Defense attorney Tom Reed, noting police found Christopher Rashad Allen barricaded with a holstered gun, told jurors the evidence showed there had been a firefight.

And, while Reed admitted the evidence showed his client was there during the shooting, he said none of it proved he fired or encouraged anyone else to.

Just before 11 p.m. on Jan. 4, 2016, officers went to an apartment building in the 2600 block of Waverly Way. They found a blood trail and several spent shell casings in the parking lot, all leading to an apartment.

Inside, they found Allen with a gunshot wound to the right bicep. Because the bullet had hit an artery, his arm was gushing.

“There was blood everywhere,” Collard told jurors in her closing argument. Paramedics took him to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, where he died.

At 11 p.m., Phillip Jarrod Timmons, then 26, came into DePaul Hospital after driving himself there. Timmons told police he had been shot outside his apartment and that Allen was a friend who’d been visiting. Collard said Timmons had been shot in the hand, buttock and testicles.

Timmons told police he heard a knock on his door that night and answered it. Raymond Martin confronted him by asking, “What did your friend say?” before getting shot.

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But Timmons, who would’ve been the prosecution’s star witness, didn’t testify, even though he was subpoenaed. Detectives had lost track of him in the aftermath of a hurricane and hadn’t been in contact for more than two years, Reed said. Moreover, the AK-47 used in the shooting belonged to Timmons, not either of the Martin brothers.

Reed called Timmons “a coward from the start to the finish,” telling jurors the man never called 911, raced off to the hospital while his friend bled to death and didn’t show up to hold one of his alleged killers accountable.

“Where is Phillip Timmons? Why isn’t he here? Why haven’t (prosecutors) tried to get him here?”

During the trial, a neighbor testified she looked out her window and saw two men whose mother lived next door to Timmons, Collard said in her closing argument. The witness said she heard their mother yell about putting a gun away before shots were fired.

She identified Raymond Martin in a photo lineup as one of the men arguing with Timmons. She identified Tremaine Martin as being with him, but couldn’t pick him out of a photo lineup.

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© 2019 The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Va.)

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.