2020 Robbery Suspect Back In Custody


TEXARKANA, Texas–A man who formerly worked in law enforcement who has been out on bond on an aggravated robbery case since February 2020 was taken back into custody last week for allegedly threatening people with a firearm.

Jeffery Norman Martin, 51, was charged in the robbery case just as the pandemic was wreaking havoc on court schedules. He was arrested Feb. 20, 2020, and released the next day on a $60,000 bond.

Martin, a former K-9 officer for an Arkansas sheriff’s office, allegedly used a badge and a pistol to hold up a man in the parking lot of the Magnuson hotel in Texarkana, Texas, according to a probable cause affidavit. A friend of Martin’s who believed someone staying at the hotel reportedly contacted him for assistance the night of Feb. 20, 2020.

When the alleged victim pulled into the hotel, two vehicles, including a truck allegedly driven by Martin pulled up behind him, blocking him in. Martin allegedly showed the man a badge and told him to turn around and face his car, which he did at the sight of the authentic-looking badge. Martin allegedly stole a Beretta pistol from the man’s waistband before leaving in his truck.

Martin was arrested again in April 2020 after Texarkana, Texas, police officers searched his residence in the 5800 block of Meadland Drive in connection with the robbery. During the search, investigators allegedly found .23 grams of cocaine and more than three ounces of marijuana in a small safe.

“I contacted Martin by phone on March 3, 2020, and inquired if he had paperwork allowing him to possess the narcotics since he had been a former K-9 handler,” a probable cause affidavit states. “He advised that he would email me the documentation.”

When Martin failed to provide any proof that he could legally possess the illicit drugs after more than a week had passed, investigators contacted the chief of the Bradley Ark. Police Department and the Sheriff of Lafayette County, both of whom advised they had not granted Martin permission to keep narcotics for canine training purposes, according to the affidavit.

Martin was arrested again in 2020 in April on a felony possession of controlled substances charge and released on an $8,000 bond in that case. Since then his case has stalled in the courts as murder and child sex abuse cases back-logged during the pandemic take priority.

Last week, a woman identified in court records as Martin’s wife, reported to law enforcement that Martin had taken $8,500 that her son was saving for a down payment on a new truck, according to a status report filed with a motion to revoke Martin’s bond.

“Mrs. Martin reported that when she confronted the defendant, he became very irate, yelling and cussing,” the report states. “She advised that he took an unknown amount of anti-depressant pills and grabbed a gun and threatened to kill himself.”

After vocalizing suicidal threats, Martin allegedly turned the gun on his wife, “pointing a gun in her face and making threats to kill her.”

The mother and her son fled the residence but returned later to retrieve belongings and allegedly found Martin was drinking to excess and taking additional “pills.” When officers responded to their 911 call, Martin allegedly barricaded himself inside and had to be talked out by the lawmen.

He was taken to a local hospital for evaluation and jailed upon release the next day, according to the affidavit. Martin’s bonds in the aggravated robbery and drug possession cases have been revoked, meaning he cannot be released from jail without permission from the court presiding over his felony cases.

If convicted of aggravated robbery, Martin faces five to 99 years or life in a Texas prison. If found guilty of drug possession, he faces six months to two years in a state jail. Martin has also been charged with misdemeanor deadly conduct in connection with his alleged conduct on July 11.

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