Fort Worth murder case dismissed after witness changes his story

Posted Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012  comments  Print Reprints

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FORT WORTH --The Tarrant County district attorney's office dismissed the murder case against Antonio Martinez this morning after a witness changed his story and testified that the shooting that killed Gerardo Martinez was in self-defense.

Police, prosecutors and an investigator with the district attorney's office had interviewed the witness on previous occasions, but he had never claimed Martinez shot the deceased in self-defense after he pulled out a knife, according to a statement from the prosecutor's office.

"It's always our duty to seek justice, not necessarily a conviction," said Kelly Meador, the assistant district attorney who tried the case. "When relevant information becomes available to us, regardless of the timing, it's our responsibility to seek a just outcome. In this case, it was a dismissal."

State District Judge Louis Sturns immediately granted the state's motion to dismiss. The judge explained to the jury what had happened and commended prosecutors.

Jim Shaw, who represented Antonio Martinez in the murder case, said prosecutors did the right thing by not prolonging the proceedings.

"This is a witness who gave a statement to police who never mentioned that the victim was brandishing a knife at my guy and threatening people," Shaw said. "The DA knew at that point that it would be difficult for them to get a conviction."

Other witness for the state testified that they had not seen a knife or that they had seen a knife but the victim had not threatened anyone, Shaw said. This witness said Gerardo Martinez, who died seven months after being shot, was waving the knife around and threatening people, Shaw said.

"Antonio cried," Shaw said. "He was very happy that justice was done. He saw that the justice system could work for him and he saw that the state was honorable in the way they handled it."

Mitch Mitchell, 817-390-7752

Twitter: @mitchmitchel3

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