Martinez pleads guilty to manslaughter in drug-related shooting

Published: Sep. 29, 2020 at 2:04 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - One of two men involved in a robbery-turned-shooting over a bag of weed reversed his plea.

Andre Martinez, 20, plead guilty before Seventh Circuit Court Judge Robert Gusinsky to first degree manslaughter on Tuesday for his role in the shooting death of 17-year-old Emmanuel Hinton in Feb. 2019.

According to a factual basis statement read by Martinez’s attorney, Martinez received a text about a marijuana deal and informed Waters.

One of the two men suggested they rob the dealers, and Waters later texted Martinez that he had money for a gun.

The two later acquired a glock-style pistol; upon meeting, Waters told Martinez “we should use this strap [weapon]," which the latter questioned.

Martinez handed Waters the gun for examination, but Waters refused to return the pistol on request.

The statement adds that Martinez heard Waters arguing with the driver to hand over a fifth of weed before he would pay. The argument lead the driver to attempt to speed away from their alleyway meeting spot, which was hindered by icy road conditions.

Waters then fired a shot into the vehicle, hitting and killing Hinton who was sitting in the passenger seat.

Parts of Waters' factual basis statement conflict with the one provided by Martinez: Waters says Martinez pushed the pair to steal the pot and the shooting occurred when Waters' arm got caught in the door, accidentally discharging the firearm. Neither claim was made in Martinez’s factual basis statement.

First degree manslaughter is a Class C felony punishable by life in prison and/or a $50,000 fine.

Both men have their sentencing date set for Wednesday, Dec. 16.

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