Brian Lansing Martin in court Friday, case tied to grand jury – WKRG News 5
COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – The man accused of killing a Sheffield police officer and another man were on trial Friday morning.
Brian Lansing Martin, 41, was in Judge Coker’s courtroom Friday morning where prosecutors presented the evidence and called witnesses in their trial against him. Court records show Martin faces a total of 10 charges: four of capital murder, two of attempted murder, two of shooting into an occupied building, one charge of felon in possession of a firearm, and one charge of corpse abuse.
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Prosecutors called a number of officers and investigators to the witness stand to describe what happened on October 1 when Martin was accused of shooting and killing William Mealback Jr. and Sheffield Police Officer Nick Risner.
Details of the relationship between Martin and Mealback were described in court, allegedly the two men were relatively close family friends.
A Muscle Shoals Police investigator recalled taped prison phone calls between Martin and Mealback’s widow, in which Martin reportedly said a gun was between the seats of the pickup truck, Mealback reached for it, and things escalated from there.
Court records allege Martin shot Mealback in the truck and then pushed him onto Avalon Avenue in Muscle Shoals shortly after police said he led them on a high-speed chase in Sheffield.
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Witnesses said Sheffield Sergeant Nick Risner ended the chase with a pit maneuver. They said Martin started shooting in Risner’s vehicle at this point, hitting him outside of his bulletproof vest.
Risner later died of his injuries.
Dash camera video of the Sheffield chase and its end was also played in court. It was shown to the public for the first time. A special agent from the State Bureau of Investigation showed the court through the video.
The agent explained that the truck Martin was in and Risner’s car were window-to-window when Martin allegedly stuck his arm out the window and started shooting at Risner’s vehicle. Investigators said Risner was hit in the armpit area and his service weapon was still in the holster when he was examined for injuries.
After the defense failed to call witnesses, Judge Coker said the evidence coincided with the charges against Martin and had tied the case to the grand jury.