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Martin indicted for a 3rd time

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New charges are evidence and witness tampering

By Jonna Spelbring Priester

A Turners Station man facing charges related to having sex with a minor will face additional charges.

Joseph David Martin, 39, of Turners Station was indicted in March for complicity to tampering with a witness and complicity to tampering with physical evidence, both Class D felonies.

He was previously indicted in 2011 for 14 counts of 1st degree unlawful transaction with a minor, illegal sex act, victum under 16, and one count of use of a minor under 16 in a sex performance. In 2012, he was indicted again, this time for 14 counts of incest, forcible compulsion/incapable of consent or victm under age 18.

According to motions by the Commonwealth’s Attorney in the case file, the charges stem from verbal and written communications between Martin and other people in which Martin alledgedly instructed someone to get the victim to change their story, and in which he allegedly told someone to find and remove computer hard drives from his residence.

“These additional charges are a direct result of a search warrant that was issued and served on October 10, 2012,” the Commonwealth’s motion reads. “The search warrant produced multiple letters that evidenced the defendant had solicited a third party to retrieve computer hard drives from his home, and the letters as well as phone calls revealed that he solicited other individuals to ‘encourage the victim to recant (their) statement’.”

The motion goes on to state that the computer hard drives allegedly contain “multiple images of child pornography,” evidence that is being evaluated for possible prosecution.

The motion later says that the Commonwealth “does not intend to introduce the actual images in its case in chief. However the images may be relevant on rebuttal, depending on the issues that  are raised by the Defendant in his defense.”

While the Commonwealth does not plan to introduce the pornographic images, they will introduce the letters referring to the removal of computer hard drives as an attempt to tamper with physical evidence.

“The Defendant’s effort to destroy the evidence, as well as tamper with the victim witness, is evidence of his guilt, and is inextricably intertwined in the entire case against him, and is admissible KRE 404(b) evidence.

KRE 404(b) refers to a Kentucky Rule of Evidence related specifically to character evidence and evidence of other crimes, which typically is forbidden. Section B refers to other crimes or wrongs.

According to the statute: “Evidence of other crimes, wrongs or acts is not admissible to prove the character of a person in order to show action in conformity therewith.” However, there are exceptions to that rule.

Such evidence can be allowed “if offered for some other purpose, such as proof of motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, or absence of mistake or accident,” or “if so inextricably intertwined with other evidence essential to the case that separation of the two could not be accomplished without serious adverse effect on the offering party.”

The Commonwealth also filed a motion to join the three indictments so that they may be tried together. Martin’s trial on the charges is scheduled for April 16, with a hearing scheduled for today at 9:30 a.m. in Oldham County.