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MailTribune.com
  • Gang member sentenced on shooting, drug charges

  • Aknown Medford Norteño gang member will serve seven and a half years in prison for his involvement in a March 2013 drive-by shooting and delivery of more than a quarter-pound of methamphetamine in 2012.
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  • Aknown Medford Norteño gang member will serve seven and a half years in prison for his involvement in a March 2013 drive-by shooting and delivery of more than a quarter-pound of methamphetamine in 2012.
    Toby Alexander Martinez, 22, was sentenced Friday in Jackson County Circuit Court to seven and a half years on each of two counts of attempted murder for pulling the trigger in a drive-by shooting and three and a half years for delivery of methamphetamine.
    The sentences, which totaled more than 18 years, will be served concurrently.
    About a half-dozen friends and family members of Martinez wept while walking out the courtroom after he was sentenced.
    "If anybody knew what my brother went through, they wouldn't have done this to him. I don't think he was treated fairly. ... This system dropped the ball a long time with him. All they did was punish him; he has a good heart and he is a good person," said Martinez's 25-year-old sister, Latysha Martinez.
    "I think the only thing my brother wanted was a family; we never had that. I feel like so many kids get lost and then become a part of a gang; they see it as a family, that's what happened to my brother."
    No one was killed by Martinez in the shooting, but one person was "slightly struck" by a bullet, Deputy District Attorney Paul Moser said.
    Police said Martinez used a .22-caliber handgun in the shooting.
    Moser said witnesses reported multiple shots were fired, but police recovered only one bullet.
    Witnesses told police they saw a Honda sedan occupied by five or six young Latino men dressed in red clothing pull up near a home. The men, believed to be part of the Norteños gang, confronted several other Latino males, believed to be part of the rival Sureños gang, and the shooting ensued.
    Police said Martinez shot at five more Sureños gang members who were walking on Chestnut Street at 1 a.m. the next day, but he denied being involved in the incident and charges related to that shooting were dropped.
    Before accepting a plea agreement Friday, Martinez faced six counts of attempted murder, six counts of first-degree attempted assault, second-degree assault and attempting to elude a police officer.
    All but two of the attempted murder charges were dismissed.
    When Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Kelly W. Ravassipour asked Martinez whether he wanted to address the court before being sentenced, he said, "I plan on taking this time to try and better myself, so I can come out and take care of my family and try and be a person that can function in the community better."
    "Well, you're going to have plenty of time to think about it," Ravassipour responded. "I hope that you do take this time to get straightened out ... you can."
    Martinez's delivery of methamphetamine charge stemmed from an October 2012 traffic stop. Martinez was a passenger in the back seat of the vehicle, which was pulled over because he was not wearing a seat belt, according to an affidavit.
    The arresting deputy said he smelled marijuana coming from the car, and when he questioned the driver, Juan Barrientos, of Central Point, Martinez handed the officer a large bag, "estimated to be over a pound," of marijuana from the back seat and said it belonged to him, the affidavit states.
    During a search of the vehicle, the deputy found a large bag of methamphetamine on the floor next to where Martinez retrieved the marijuana, the affidavit states.
    While patting down Martinez before his arrest, the deputy said, he found $2,700 in Martinez's wallet.
    Charges against Martinez for delivery of marijuana, possession of marijuana and possession of methamphetamine were dropped Friday when he signed a plea agreement to serve 41 months in prison for delivery of methamphetamine.
    Martinez was also sentenced Friday to 18 months probation for two counts of attempting to elude a police officer in 2013.
    A charge of possession of heroin was dismissed
    When Martinez's sentence is finished, he will face nine years of post-prison supervision.
    Reach reporter Sam Wheeler at 541-776-4471 or swheeler@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/swhlr.
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