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Second man in ambulance shooting sentenced to 170 years

Monday, March 4, 2013 - 11:31 am

A man found guilty by a jury of riddling an ambulance with bullets as it rushed a stabbing victim to a hospital, as well as the shooting of one of three women following in a car, received a prison sentence of 170 years Monday morning.

Dontay Martin, 23, was sentenced by Allen Superior Judge John Surbeck on a total of nine counts: four counts of attempted murder, two counts of criminal recklessness and one count each of battery and gun and for criminal gang activity.

Martin and a second man, 24-year-old Traneilous Jackson, were accused of opening fire Sept. 9 on the ambulance and a car following it; the ambulance carried a man who had been stabbed during a fight at the Piere's nightclub complex on St. Joe Road.

Each vehicle was hit with 16 to 20 gunshots. Three women in the car and a medic suffered injuries. About 10 bullets hit one woman in the car, according to court documents.

The medic was cut by shattered glass, shrapnel and bullet fragments, the documents said.

The prosecution asked for the maximum sentence, 210 years, calling Martin the worst of the worst.

“He chose to open fire on the ambulance,” said Jason Custer, Allen County deputy prosecutor said.

Custer said Martin's actions clearly showed he has no regard for the safety or lives of others and what he did came very close to a mass killing.

A few of Martin's family members asked the court to show mercy in Martin's sentencing.

Martin had been uncooperative with the court, refusing to talk, and when he spoke on his own behalf Monday he maintained he was innocent of the charges and the only reason the gun had his DNA on it was because one of the two other men in the car had tossed it into his lap for him to throw out of the car.

Custer said after the sentencing that several witnesses at the trial testified there were gunshots coming from both the front seat and back seats of the car and that Martin had clearly been seen getting out of the back of the car.

Although Surbeck did not go for the maximum sentence he agreed that Martin's behavior came very close to being the worst of the worst. Surbeck told Martin that he had terrorized the community.

“You created your own war zone Mr. Martin,” Surbeck said.

Surbeck noted that aggravating circumstances in Martin's sentencing included his long history of violent behavior, which started as a juvenile with multiple battery charges and continued as an adult. Martin had been out of jail for only 48 hours when he was involved in the incident. He had many failed attempts at rehabilitation as well as a total disregard for the lives and safety of those around him, Surbeck said. After Martin created his own war zone he then disregarded war zone ethics by firing on medical personnel, Surbeck said. The judge said he could find no mitigating circumstance in Martin's history or current behavior that might have softened the sentencing.

Custer said after the sentencing that the prosecutor's office is happy to have Martin off the street and praised the jury for recognizing how dangerous Martin's behavior is.

Martin received 40 years on each of the four attempted murder charges, six years for the battery committed by means of a deadly weapon resulting in serious bodily injury, and two years each on criminal recklessness, all to run consecutively. In addition he received one year for carrying a handgun without a license and two years for criminal gang activity, both to run concurrently with the other charges.

Jackson pleaded guilty in January to seven charges, including four counts of attempted murder. Surbeck sentenced him Feb. 27 to 60 years in prison under the terms of a plea agreement.