TEXARKANA, Texas–The 25-year sentence a jury gave to a teen who shot and killed a fellow Texas High School student after a dispute that started in the lunchroom over a juicebox, has been affirmed by a state appellate court.
Kamorian Lamar Meachem, who has turned 20 since his trial, was convicted in December by a Bowie County jury of murder in the Oct. 25, 2021, death of 17-year-old Ulisses Martinez and assessed a 25-year prison term. The teens were sent home from school during lunch that day because of name calling that began over a juicebox and ended with a plan to meet and fight in front of Meachem’s Texarkana, Texas, home.
A crowd of young people assembled outside the house on Sidney Drive and the conflict turned physical. During Meachem’s trial, he testified about seeing his brother struck and his sister attacked, before firing the shot that fatally struck Martinez in the torso.
The Sixth District Court of Appeals headquartered in Texarkana rejected Meachem’s argument that his trial would have turned out differently if his lawyer had argued for a court-appointed investigator at state expense during the pretrial phase of his case. A motion seeking a number of things from the court filed ahead of the trial included a request for an investigator but Meachem’s trial lawyer never sought a ruling on it.
Meachem argued that an investigator might have uncovered witnesses with information that could have helped him at trial. The appellate court pointed out that Meachem did not claim his lawyer failed to investigate the case or that the state failed to turn over any evidence.
Instead it was Meachem’s state of mind that was at issue, the appellate court said.
“By his own admission, Meachem was the shooter,” the appellate court said. “The trial came down to whether the jury believed Meachem’s protestations that, when he shot [Martinez], he did not intend to cause serious bodily injury.”
The appellate opinion noted that the jury learned that “Meachem, in a text conversation with his former girlfriend, said that he had a pistol and that [Martinez] would die if [Martinez] came after him. Meachem does not specify how, if at all, having an investigator would have impacted the state-of-mind inquiry.”
Meachem is currently being held in the Torres Unit in Hondo of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. According to TDCJ, he will be eligible for parole April 25, 2034, and will have completely served his sentence by Oct. 25, 2046.