Defense points to second shooter in 2017 shooting outside Chattanooga nightclub

Defense points to second shooter in 2017 shooting outside Chattanooga nightclub

Judge sends murder charges to grand jury

February 20th, 2018 by Zack Peterson in Breaking News

This story was updated Feb. 20, 2018, at 11:10 p.m. with more information.

A second shooter was most likely involved in a 2017 slaying outside a Chattanooga nightclub that left one dead, one injured and one charged with murder, according to a defense attorney for the 24-year-old defendant.

Roddarius Martin went to Miles College with Sharone Porter, was reconnecting with him on Dec. 17, 2017, and had no reason to kill him outside of Coyote Jack's nightclub that night, defense attorney Bill Speek argued Tuesday.

Roddarius Martin

Roddarius Martin

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

In addition to video footage from inside the club that supports Martin's story, Speek said no state witness saw Martin shoot and kill Porter. Furthermore, police found about three different types of ammunition on scene, pointing to a second shooter, Speek said.

"We're going to find the second gun," Speek said, "because that's the gun that led to Sharone Porter's death."

After listening to all of the proof Tuesday, Hamilton County General Sessions Judge Clarence Shattuck said there was enough probable cause that Martin, 24, committed the crime. Shattuck sent Martin's criminal homicide, attempted first-degree murder, reckless endangerment and aggravated assault charges to the grand jury. If grand jurors indict Martin for those charges, his case will continue to Hamilton County Criminal Court and he can fight it there.

Prosecutors said Martin was the only person who witnesses saw pointing and firing a gun that December night. They called a detective from the Chattanooga Police Department and a second eyewitness who asked not to be identified to support that argument.

The eyewitness said Sharone Porter's brother, Torrie, was about to get into an altercation with a group of people outside of Coyote Jack's. She said Martin, also outside, shot a gun into the air, dispering most of the crowd.

But Torrie Porter and Martin continued to exchange words, the witness said. About 10 feet apart, she said, Martin fired about four shots at Torrie Porter's feet and legs. Torrie Porter ran off, and a short while later, his brother was shot and later died. According to Tuesday's testimony, Torrie Porter was in custody in Georgia on a gun charge.

In addition to Sharone Porter's homicide, Martin is charged with attempted first-degree murder because of the incident with Torrie Porter. Speek said that's not the behavior of a deliberate killer but of someone acting out of self-defense.

As for Sharone Porter, the deceased, "you didn't see who shot him?" Speek asked the witness.

"No," she said.

Zach Crawford, an investigating detective for the Chattanooga Police Department, said he found eight 9 mm shell casings on the scene. In total, there were about three different types of ammunition, he said. Law enforcement could send those casings to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to see if the bullets were fired from the same gun.

Seventeen days before the slaying, Crawford said, a different officer found Martin in a car with a 9mm gun. That wasn't Martin's gun, Speek countered. The defense attorney asked several times if Crawford had retrieved a weapon he believed Martin used that night, and Crawford said no.

Regardless, prosecutors said they couldn't ignore the bottom line: Martin was the only person witnesses saw with a gun, and he fired it multiple times that night.

"Mr. Speek has set up arguments for the jury," Assistant District Attorney General Kevin Brown said, "but there is probable cause [that Martin committed this crime]."

Contact staff writer Zack Peterson at zpeterson@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6347. Follow him on Twitter @zackpeterson918.


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