|NEW CANINE OFFICER
The Mt. Sterling Police Dept. added a new K9 officer last week. Simba was donated by the Maysville Police Dept., according to a release. She is a fully trained narcotics and search K9. Officer Ty Combs will be her new partner. The MSPD’s K9 unit will soon increase to three K9 dogs as part of the dept.’s efforts to combat illegal narcotics. Pictured with Simba upon her arrival last week were, from left, Maysville Assistant Police Chief Jared Muse, Maysville Sgt. Kelly Prater,
|Martin testifies in court hearing
|By Tom Marshall
Senior Advocate writer
Murder suspect Natasha Martin testified, in a limited capacity, at a court hearing Sept. 13 brought about over a pair of meetings she reportedly had with her grandmother and prosecutors.
It was at a meeting in late May or early June in which Martin says she agreed to testify against her co-defendant in the Paul Brewer murder case.
Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Keith Craycraft, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Det./Sgt. Ralph Charles and her attorney, Alex Rowady of Winchester, were reportedly present.
Martin was asked by co-defendant Nickie Miller’s attorney, Bridget Hofler Saunders, what kind of agreement was reached for her testimony.
Martin, Rowady and Craycraft have all claimed that the only agreement is that Martin would receive “very favorable treatment” if she were to testify truthfully.
Saunders has implied that Martin is already receiving favorable treatment in that she is currently out of jail on house arrest after her bond was reduced from $2 million to a $50,000 surety bond.
Saunders claims that the bond reduction came with no input for the defense.
Saunders also asked Martin about any other preferential treatment she may have received, but Martin claimed that there has been none.
In response to a question from Saunders, Martin testified that there was no formal plea deal, but did explain to authorities that she hoped she could get a probated sentence.
Saunders asked if Martin felt she held any responsibility at all for the alleged murder.
“I didn’t kill that man,” Martin responded.
Martin previously told investigators that Nickie Miller allegedly shot Brewer to death during a robbery in December 2011 at Brewer’s Natalie Drive apartment.
At that point Circuit Judge William “Bill” Lane explained to Martin that she was limited to testimony about the extent of conversations with prosecutors and her grandmother and was not to testify in regard to actual murder allegations.
Martin is still charged with murder and has not yet entered a guilty plea.
It was at this first meeting, Martin testified, that she asked if she could meet with her grandmother, Jewell Combs, to discuss the case. The parties reportedly agreed.
During the second meeting, Martin testified that her grandmother, Charles and sheriff’s Det. Mark Collier were present. She testified that Craycraft stopped by to say hello, but that was the extent of their interaction.
Martin said during testimony neither the sheriff’s detectives or Craycraft participated in the discussions with her grandmother.
Saunders has asked the court to require the parties involved in that meeting to record in writing their contact for the defense looking for possible impeachable evidence.
Saunders also subpoenaed Combs to testify at the hearing, but Martin indicated that Combs had recently had a stroke and had a doctor’s appointment so she could not be present.
Lane agreed that Combs could testify because there was no attorney-client privilege in regard to her conversation with Martin because Martin’s attorney was not present and Combs did not have an attorney with her either.
Lane scheduled another court hearing for Oct. 27 in which the issue of Combs’ possible testimony can be pursued further.
Prosecutors allege that Martin and another woman lured Brewer upstairs at his apartment and then signaled for Miller and another man, Cody Hall, to come in and rob Brewer.
During the robbery, Miller reportedly shot Brewer in the head and insisted that Hall shoot him as well.
Prosecutors have filed a notice of intent to seek the death penalty for Miller and Martin (prior to her agreeing to testify). Miller is scheduled to go on trial in May 2018. He remains lodged at the Montgomery County Regional Jail.
Hall was charged with murder, but those were later dropped without prejudice, meaning they can be reinstated at a later.
Authorities are still trying to positively identify the other woman that was allegedly with Martin.