An Amherst County teenager was convicted Oct. 3 of shooting and severely injuring a man at a home in Madison Heights.
Jared Matthew Martin, 18, entered an Alford plea in Amherst Circuit Court to one count each of aggravated malicious wounding and use of a firearm in commission of a felony in connection with the December 2018 shooting. An Alford plea means he acknowledges prosecutors have enough evidence to convict him but he does not admit guilt.
Martin, of Amherst, faces 20 years to life in prison on the wounding charge and a three-year mandatory minimum on the firearm charge. Three misdemeanor counts of pointing or brandishing a firearm against Martin were dropped.
Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Amber Drumheller said the Amherst County Sheriff’s Office responded after receiving a call Dec. 6 about a shooting in the 180 block of Longview Drive in Madison Heights and the shooter fled the scene on foot. An Amherst sheriff’s deputy, upon turning onto Longview Drive, observed Martin standing near a large trash can beside the edge of the road, bent over as if he were putting something down and then turning to walk away from the officer’s vehicle.
Martin ran when the officer yelled for him to stop and show his hands, Drumheller said. After Martin, who was 17 at the time, was detained, the officer went back to the trash can and found a black shotgun lying in the grass, Drumheller said.
The officer then went to the home where the shooting was reported and was met by the wife of James Miles, the victim who lived there, who said he left the scene after he was shot. During the investigation Martin, Miles and four other witnesses were interviewed and Martin admitted to bringing the shotgun into the home and shooting Miles, according to Drumheller.
Miles, 52, had been asleep when he got up in the middle of the night and noticed his daughter’s bedroom door was shut, Drumheller said. He opened the door and saw Martin, whom he did not know, and told him to leave the residence, she said.
Martin asked if he could go back into the room and call his mom to get him. After doing so, he came into the living room with the shotgun, Drumheller said. The defendant said, “what’s up now,” and added a racial slur before shooting Miles in the stomach, she said.
Miles testified at a preliminary hearing in the case he was scared Martin would kill him so he ran out the back door, got in his truck and left, Drumheller said. He drove to Sheetz in Madison Heights and knew he couldn’t make it to the hospital so he had someone there call 911 for help, she said.
Miles was hospitalized for almost a month after the shooting, has undergone numerous surgeries and now wears a colostomy bag, Drumheller said.
Martin is represented by Jordan Davies and requested a new attorney during a hearing Sept. 30. Judge Michael Garrett found no reason to do so and denied the request, Drumheller said after Thursday’s hearing.
Drumheller said there was no plea agreement in the case. Martin’s sentencing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Nov. 26 in Amherst Circuit Court.