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Court docs: No sign of physical struggle before woman fatally shot ex-husband

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UPDATE (July 12, 2017)– Brittni Martin was found not guilty of murder in the death of Jack Martin. Read more here.

Original story:

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Court documents reveal new details after police say a woman fatally shot her ex-husband over the weekend.

Police arrested Brittni Martin for the Oct. 15 shooting that killed her ex-husband, Jack Martin. Police were dispatched to the home in the 7200 block of East 13th St. around 12:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15.

According to the probable cause affidavit filed in the case, Brittni Martin called 911 to report that she’d shot her husband because he’d tried to shoot her first. Their 7-year-old daughter was asleep inside the home at the time.

4 Fast Facts

  • Woman charged with murder in shooting death of ex-husband
  • The couple’s 7-year-old daughter was inside the home at the time
  • The woman told dispatchers they’d gotten into a fight and he pointed gun at her
  • Investigators said there were no apparent signs of a struggle before the shooting

When police arrived, they found Martin and her mother at the home. Martin told them she came home to get some clothes and got into an argument with her husband. She said he then pointed a gun at her head; she said she wrestled the gun away from him and shot him.

She’d waited until about 30 minutes after the shooting to call police, court documents said, and first called her mother.

Police didn’t see any visible signs of a struggle at the home, court documents said, and found Jack Martin lying on his back in a bed. There was an empty firearm holster on the floor at the foot of the bed. Investigators said the man suffered a gunshot wound to his right temple.

Brittni Martin’s mother, Rhonda Turner, told police that her daughter and Jack Martin had been together for about 20 years and were often “physically abusive” toward one another. They’d been divorced for seven years, but Jack Martin moved back in with her a few weeks before the shooting and they were trying to reconcile.

“He smashed my face,” Turner said her daughter told her. “We were fighting in the bedroom… shot and Jack’s dead.”

“Mom, I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for this to happen but he put the gun to my head and it was either him or me,” her daughter told her, according to Turner’s recollection.

Investigators said they didn’t see any signs of injuries to Brittni Martin’s face or body. They found no defensive wounds that would indicate a struggle between the two, according to court documents.

There was no visible blood on her clothing or shoes even though Martin told officers she was “in a ‘bear hug’ with the victim at the time of the shooting.” In addition, police said there was no upward trajectory to the gunshot that killed Jack Martin, who’s 5’11” compared to his ex-wife’s height of 5’3”.

Police obtained the 911 call that Martin made after the shooting. She told dispatchers “it was gonna be him or me” and said she’d first called her mother to come to the house because her 7-year-old daughter was inside.

“So you shot him because he tried to shoot you first?” the dispatcher asked.

“Well… first he was smashing my face in,” Martin said.

When the dispatcher asked Martin if she was OK, she said “not exactly” and then her mother answered in the background, “she’s in shock, ma’am.”

Police arrested Martin, who is charged with murder in the case. The case is scheduled to go to trial in January.

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