A woman who was with accused crime-spree killer Kori Ali Muhammad when a motel security guard was gunned down will not be charged with being an accessory after the crime, the Fresno County District Attorney’ Office said Monday.
Assistant District Attorney Steve Wright would not say why Lisa Renee Martin, 53, will not be charged. But once Muhammad stands trial, she could be a witness to the killing of unarmed security guard Carl Williams III on April 13.
According to a police detective’s affidavit, Martin was talking with Williams when he was shot multiple times “in cold blood.”
According to a police detective’s affidavit, Lisa Renee Martin was talking with the security guard when he was shot multiple times “in cold blood.”
Muhammad’s lawyer, Richard Beshwate, said Monday he doesn’t know why Martin wasn’t charged.
A criminal complaint charges Muhammad, 39, with the murder of Williams at Motel 6 on Blackstone Avenue in Fresno. Another complaint charges him with three counts of murder in connection with the April 18 shooting rampage that killed Zackary David Randalls, 34, of Clovis; Mark James Gassett, 37, of Fresno; and David Martin Jackson, 58, of Fresno. The complaint also accuses Muhammad of attempted murder of three other men, and special circumstances that could result in the death penalty.
Criminal proceedings in Superior Court have been suspended, however, while a court-appointed psychologist, Dr. Richard Kendall, examines Muhammad to determine if he is legally competent to assist in his defense. Muhammad’s next court hearing is June 1.
Police Chief Jerry Dyer has said that Muhammad has confessed to killing all four victims. Dyer also said Muhammad targeted the victims because they are white.
A police detective’s affidavit says Martin was arrested April 13 on a felony charge of being an accessory after police accused her of helping Muhammad escape a “police dragnet” after Williams was killed. Homicide Detective Bartlett Ledbetter said in his affidavit that Martin tried to take evidence from the scene, but was stopped by hotel security and a witness.
Muhammad’s criminal proceedings have been suspended until a court-appointed psychologist determines whether he is legally competent to assist in his defense.
After the killing, the affidavit says, Martin barricaded herself in a motel room. Police then had to kick in the door. Inside the room, the affidavit says, police found a backpack, which contained documents with the name “Kori Ali Muhammad” and “four revolver speed loaders with live .357 caliber bullets.”
Since her arrest, Martin has been free on bail. She could not be reached for comment Monday.
In a telephone call to The Bee on April 26, Muhammad admitted to the killings. But he also said he suffers schizophrenia and said his killing spree was to bring attention to America’s history of white people buying slaves, mistreating them and lynching them. He contends white people still kidnap, rape and murder black people, including women and children.
But according to Muhammad, the killing of Williams had nothing to do with the color of his skin. Muhammad said he went to the motel with Martin because she was suffering. He said he planned to perform black magic and voodoo on her. But Williams and another security officer told them he had to pay an extra fee for him to stay in the room.
According to Muhammad, Williams cursed him and disrespected him. “So I shot him,” he said. “It had nothing to do with his race. I’m not even sure if Williams is white. He looked Hispanic to me.”