Jury finds Missouri man killed by violence, rejecting authorities' suicide ruling

A jury in Missouri found that a Black man died by violence and not suicide — as authorities had previously determined.

8/4/2021 4:32:00 AM

A jury in Missouri found that a Black man died by violence and not suicide — as authorities had previously determined.

Derontae Martin's mother said she was happy with the finding. 'They saw the truth that my baby did not kill himself,' she said.

Derontae Martin.KSDK via YouTubeThe jury, which did not offer a determination of who was responsible for Martin’s death, ruled in about two hours last week that Martin died by violence. It could have determined that his death was a suicide or an accident or that he died from natural causes, KSDK reported.

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Madison County Prosecutor M. Dwight Robbins told KSDK he likes to ask Coroner Collin Follis to call an inquest if there is uncertainty about a death. Inquests occur in counties that do not have medical examiners, KSDK reported.Robbins could not be immediately reached for comment Tuesday afternoon. It was unclear how the case will proceed.

“We don’t have answers to who, who did it? We don’t have answers to why they did it. But ... God ain’t through yet,” Martin’s grandmother Kimberly Robinson told KSDK.Martin’s mother, Erica Lotts, told the station that she was relieved and elated after the jury’s finding. headtopics.com

“They saw the truth that my baby did not kill himself,” she said.Lotts danced in the courthouse after the decision before she briefly collapsed in a chair and cried.Dr. Russell Deidiker, the pathologist who performed the autopsy, testified that Martin died from a gunshot wound to his head that was fired at close contact. A second autopsy, commissioned by Martin’s family, determined that the gun was fired from farther away.

Toxicology results found that Martin had drugs in his system. KSDK reported that three Missouri Highway Patrol troopers testified that they believed Martin took his own life.Others who testified said that Martin was acting paranoid and that multiple people may have been involved in his death.

The home where the party occurred is owned by a man with a history of bigoted social media posts. He testified that he had used racial slurs in the past and on social media but that he did not kill Martin. He has not been not charged with a crime.He could not be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon.

Antonio PlanasAntonio Planas is a breaking news reporter for NBC News Digital. Read more: NBC News »

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Which black guy killed him? Too many people are getting Epsteined in the US... The first of many to be revealed. Is there anyone in Missouri who isn't a murderous racist? Hopefully it's because of systemic racism so we can get a good protest going BlackLivesMatter

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