District Man Sentenced To 29 Years In Prison For 2010 Murder Of His Mother And Assault On His Younger Brother-Jury Rejected Defendant’s Insanity Defense-
WASHINGTON - Christopher Martin, 27, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 29 years in prison on charges stemming from the May 2010 murder of his mother and a subsequent attack on his brother, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
Martin was found guilty in June 2013, following a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, of second-degree murder while armed, assault with a deadly weapon, and simple assault. He was sentenced by the Honorable Ronna L. Beck.
According to the government’s evidence, on May 20, 2010, Martin’s younger brother, Demetrius Martin, escaped from a second-floor window of a home in the 4200 block of Fourth Street SE. He alerted a neighbor that he had been beaten by his brother, Christopher, who had also stabbed their mother. When police finally gained entry to the locked apartment, they found the body of Patricia Ann Martin, 58, in an advanced stage of decomposition spurred on by the heat in the apartment and the fact that the defendant had covered her with multiple blankets.
Upon entering the apartment, it became apparent that Martin had attempted to conceal his crime from discovery by covering his mother’s body with cleanser and dryer sheets and using odor-eating gels, and various perfumes, room deodorizers and bleach to cover her scent. Later that day, when Martin was arrested, police discovered that he had a long, deep gash to the palm of his hand, consistent with his hand having slid down the blade of a knife.
At trial, the defendant proceeded on an insanity defense, calling experts to establish that because of mental illness, he lacked the substantial capacity to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law or lacked a substantial capacity to recognize the wrongfulness of his conduct. The government countered with experts to establish that, although the defendant does have a diagnosed mental illness (schizo-affective disorder), there was no evidence that his criminal conduct resulted from his mental illness. The jury found Martin guilty of all charges and rejected the defense of insanity.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the efforts of those who investigated the case for the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). He also extended his appreciation to Victim/Witness Advocate Marcia Rinker; Paralegal Specialists Alesha Matthews Yette, Sandra Lane, Fern Rhedrick and Benjamin Kagan-Guthrie, and Litigation Technology Specialists Jeanie Latimore-Brown, Kimberly Smith, and Paul Howell. He also expressed thanks for the assistance provided by Patricia A. Riley, Special Counsel to the U.S. Attorney, Michael Ambrosino, Special Counsel for DNA and Forensic Evidence Litigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Colleen Kennedy. Finally, he praised the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Vinét Bryant, who indicted the case and prosecuted the case at trial.