This is a local story from my town.
Martin guilty of first-degree murder
A Greene County jury convicted Jeffrey Robert Martin on all counts, including first-degree murder and child rape, Thursday morning.
The jury of six men and six women deliberated for just over six hours Wednesday and Thursday before they decided Martin was guilty of raping and killing 12-year-old Gabrielle Bechen of Greensboro over two years ago.
Members of the Bechen family cried quietly as the verdict was read. Martin, 51, of New Geneva did not appear to show any emotion as the court clerk read, “Guilty,” after each of the eight charges against him.
During a court recess, reporters asked Martin if he had any comment, he replied, “Go get it off somebody else.”
The case will now progress to the sentencing phase which began at 11 a.m. today.
Attorneys for the commonwealth will argue that Martin should be sentenced to death by attempting to prove aggravating circumstances surround the girl’s murder. Some of those circumstances may include the rape of the girl.
Meanwhile, Martin’s defense team will attempt to convince jurors that Martin should be sentenced to life in prison because of mitigating factors.
The jury found Martin guilty of first degree murder, aggravated assault, rape of a child, aggravated indecent assault of a child, statutory sexual assault, indecent assault, abuse of a corpse and four counts of tampering with evidence.