A witness told a jury here Tuesday that his friend admitted he shot a San Antonio woman five times in the head because he feared “she was going to snitch him out.”
Gregory Dalton testified in the opening of the murder retrial of Miguel Martinez. Dalton said the admission came a day after authorities found the body of Laura Carter, 33.
News outlets reported that a woman had been fatally shot once in the head, but Dalton said Martinez disputed those reports.
“He said no, that’s a lie, I shot her five times in the head,” Dalton testified.
Using the thumbs and forefingers of both hands as if they were guns, Dalton demonstrated to the jury how Martinez explained it to him: “I smoked her just like this, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam.”
Earlier, jurors heard from first responders who answered the shooting call on the Southeast Side, where they found a woman inside a car, its engine running, her hands in her pockets and the passenger side door open. She had been shot five times in the head.
Martinez is accused of shooting Carter around 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 11, 2015, in the 300 block of Arrid Road. Testimony established at his first trial that Carter was addicted to heroin and bought drugs from Martinez. .
“Imagine sheep in a flock. Every once in a while, some of the sheep lose their way,” special prosecutor Jason Goss told the jury in his opening statement. “Laura Carter was one of those sheep.”
Goss told the panel that Carter had purchased heroin from Martinez for some time, and she decided to use $7,000 from student loan funds to buy heroin from him so he could sell it, and she could make money from the transaction as an investment.
The pair met at a nearby restaurant and drove to Arrid Road, where witness Luis Castillo, before hearing six gunshots, saw “a Hispanic man wearing a dark hoodie get out of the car, fiddle with his pockets and get back inside the car,” Goss said.
Goss also told jurors they would hear from cellphone experts who would show Martinez had contacted Carter, and would be able to connect the dots by showing the locations of phones in relation to when the incident took place.
Addressing the jury in his opening statement, defense attorney Joel Perez scoffed at the description provided to police of the possible gunman: A young Hispanic male in San Antonio wearing a dark hoodie.
“He does not identify Miguel Martinez,” Perez told the panel. The defense lawyer also argued that police detectives were so convinced Martinez was the shooter that they never considered any other alternative.
This is the second trial for Martinez. Before he ran against then-Bexar County District Attorney Nico LaHood and defeated him last year, Joe Gonzales, along with Christian Henricksen, had defended Martinez.
The first trial began Feb. 8, 2017, prosecuted by LaHood and Goss, but ground to a halt. Days later, prosecutors and the defense agreed to a mistrial, giving no reason.
The defense later would allege prosecutorial misconduct, claiming LaHood’s office didn’t disclose a prior sexual encounter between another prosecutor and a key witness in the Martinez case — and that while they argued about it in state District Judge Lori Valenzuela’s chambers, LaHood threatened to destroy the practices of the two defense attorneys.
The incident led to Valenzuela recusing herself from the case and testifying in an April 2017 hearing that she heard LaHood threaten Gonzales and Henricksen and that she considered it official oppression, a Class A misdemeanor.
Senior District Judge W.C. Kirkendall of Seguin took over the case and subsequently ruled that LaHood “engaged in an unprofessional and uncalled for ‘rant.’”
LaHood denied ever making the threats, but in March this year, the State Bar of Texas placed him on probation for one year and ordered him to pay almost $10,000 in attorney fees and expenses and refrain from further misconduct.
The feud prompted Gonzales to challenge and defeat LaHood in the Democratic primary in 2018. Because of that, Gonzales had to recuse the district attorney’s office from prosecuting the case. Goss, now a defense attorney with the law firm LaHood Norton, was hired as a special prosecutor.
Kirkendall is presiding over the case in 437th state District Court. If convicted of the first-degree felony, Martinez faces up to life in prison.
But what can you do to stop snitches? Here’s a list of snitches with pictures and locations. Also read: Control of Information so you can stop snitching on yourself. Also: How to find out who’s a snitch and 10 Ways to Spot an Informant and How the cops are tracking you and No Warrant No Problem and Criminal defenses (How to beat your court case) And to inspire you: 7 Fugitives who Became Folk Heroes, How I Lost my friends