A Marion man charged with breaking into his friend’s home, stealing $1,000 in property and allegedly assaulting a fellow inmate was found guilty and given at least four years in prison.
Christopher Paul Martin, 35, of Panther Drive, Marion, was found guilty of being a habitual felon, attempted breaking and entering and larceny after breaking and entering. He was sentenced to 48 to 70 months in prison. He was given credit for 309 days time served. He must pay $1,370 restitution to the victim. He must pay court costs.
According to Detective Eric Rodriguez of the Marion Police Department, Martin and the victim, Jose Luis Herrera, were partying at Herrera’s house on Baldwin Avenue Friday, Jan. 19. Herrera reportedly asked Martin to leave because he had to work in the morning and needed to go to sleep.
“He falls asleep and all of sudden he hears someone in his residence and it’s Martin. He confronts him and Chris assaults him by knocking him out. When he wakes up, several items were gone,” said Rodriguez.
The warrant states Martin hit Herrera all over his body with his fists.
“He did seem injured, but he refused treatment,” said Rodriguez.
Herrera told police Martin took his TV, an entertainment sound bar, clothes, cologne, cellphone, DVDs and $150 in cash. The total value of the stolen property was $1,000.
An investigation led detectives to Martin’s dad’s house on Panther Drive where all of the stolen items, except the cash, were recovered.
“He told me they did get in a scuffle but Herrera owed him money. Martin was supposed to meet me at his dad’s, but he never showed up. His dad gave me consent to search, and we located all of the property,” said Rodriguez, adding Martin eventually turned himself in. Warrants stated Martin was arrested one week after the incident.
While incarcerated at the McDowell County Jail on April 20, Martin, along with four other inmates, were charged with assaulting another inmate, 30-year-old Justin Ray Rector, of 403 Johnson Hollow Road in Marion, with broken broom handles. According to Detective Lynn Greene of the Sheriff’s Office, the altercation was over cigarettes.
At the time of the first arrest, Martin was held under an initial $23,500 bond.
Ginny Rhodes contributed to this article.