Family of deputy killed by partner speaks out as murder trial continues

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LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KRQE) – The state is expected to rest its case first thing Thursday morning in the re-trial of former deputy Tai Chan, who is charged with murdering fellow deputy Jeremy Martin.

After watching quietly in court, Martin’s family is speaking out to defend him.

At 29 years old, Jeremy Martin was a father, a husband and a Santa Fe County Sheriff’s deputy.

His family hasn’t heard from him since October 2014 when he was killed at the Hotel Encanto, but his family has heard a lot about him.

Chan says Martin attacked him and he fired in self-defense, but prosecutors say Chan shot Martin in the back five times as Martin ran.

After a hung jury last year, the re-trial continues and Martin’s family is done sitting in silence.

“We just felt like it was time to speak up and to communicate the Jeremy that we knew to defend his honor,” said James Martin, Jeremy’s brother.

In the years since the shooting, Chan’s attorneys raised questions about a “white powdery substance” found in Jeremy’s wallet, and a secret file on his phone with seemingly sexually suggestive texts and pictures.

“Jeremy is nonviolent, he wasn’t a drug user, he had no secret life. [Jeremy’s wife] has the photographs they’re referring to in the secret vault. I think the defense attorney may not be familiar with Snapchat or what that does,” James Martin said.

He says the pictures were Snapchat gym selfies sent as a joke. As for the white powdery substance, aspirin.

Wednesday, they heard what Chan told police the night of his arrest.

Chan’s attorneys argue that Chan’s blood in the hotel room and a shot to the ceiling are proof that Martin fired first and that this was self-defense.

Meanwhile, the family says all the gunshots hitting Martin from behind are proof of murder.

In the last trial, the jury thought Chan was guilty but couldn’t agree whether to convict him of first-degree murder, second-degree or voluntary manslaughter.

 

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