A Charles County man was sentenced to life in prison
yesterday for attempting to kill his pregnant girlfriend two years ago.
Charles Brandon Martin was convicted of attempted murder earlier this year. Prosecutors said he was involved in the 2008 shooting that badly injured hair stylist Jodi Torok of Crofton.
Martin, who was married and dating two other women, was upset with Torok because she didn't want to abort the baby
Prosecutors said Martin was behind the shooting, which left Torok in a wheelchair
The accused gunman, Jerold Raymond Burks, was acquitted.
In handing down the life sentence at the county courthouse in Annapolis, Circuit Court Judge Pamela L. North exceeded sentencing guidelines.
She said there's no way to know what harm Martin might do once he gets out of prison.
"I believe you cannot be trusted," North said.
Torok praised the sentence.
"I got my early Christmas present," she said after the sentencing hearing.
Since the shooting, Torok has endured serious medical issues and a grueling recovery.
She was in a coma for weeks and her pregnancy was terminated, for fear of the damage done by the trauma and heavy medications coursing through her body. She since has had half a dozen surgeries.
Torok moved in with her parents, Tom and Pam, in Western Pennsylvania.
Pam Torok quit her job at a mail-order pharmaceutical company to care for Jodi and take her to her many medical and therapy appointments.
Jodi Torok, now 29, uses a wheelchair but is hoping to one day walk again, possibly with a walker or canes. She'd like to get back into hair styling, though she's not sure if that's possible with limited mobility.
"My main goal is to get up and walking," Torok said.
Torok appeared to be a casualty of Martin's unusual lifestyle.
Martin and his wife have four children, and he has two more children with other women.
In addition to dating Torok, he also was dating two other women, who were not the mothers of his children.
Martin's wife, Carissa Martin, told the court that their marriage was largely one of convenience and that he had "failed miserably" as a husband.
But she said he is a good father, always attending sports games, recitals and teacher conferences.
Martin was mostly a stay-at-home dad, although he did some basketball coaching and personal training.