William Martin

Man once accused of murder reaches plea deal on federal weapons charge

The man once considered for homicide charges after a December 2016 shooting that left one person dead was defending himself, according to a plea agreement reached Monday in Dayton’s U.S. District Court.

William Martin, 25, fired a gun at Leo Montgomery III and Evon Walker in a car outside the Roosters Restaurant on North Main Street on Dec. 2, 2016, according to Dayton police. Montgomery, 21, died. Walker survived.

RELATED: Dayton man faces federal weapons charge after fatal shooting

Martin pleaded guilty on Monday by superseding bill of information to one count of using, carrying and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime. A potential drug charge mentioned in a criminal complaint was not included in the bill.

In the absence of any other agreement, a conviction on the weapons charge has a statutory sentence range of 10 years to life and a fine of up to $250,000. U.S. District Court Judge Walter Rice scheduled a hearing and sentencing both for Jan. 16.

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Rice read from the statement of facts, which indicated Martin was going to sell marijuana to both men and that Martin got in the back seat of the car Walker was driving.

Once Martin passed a sample of marijuana to the men, they almost immediately told Martin they intended to rob Martin of cash and marijuana, Rice read.

RELATED: Arrest made in deadly shooting outside Rooster’s Restaurant

The judge read that Montgomery pointed a gun at Martin, who opened fire and struck both with bullets, according to the statement of facts.

Dayton police officials have said previously that Martin’s case wasn’t classified as a justifiable homicide, but said the facts of the case made it “appropriate” for the federal system.

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Martin was arrested by Dayton police shortly after the shooting and booked into the Montgomery County Jail on possible homicide charges.

A spokeswoman for the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office has said that Martin’s state case was terminated March 7, 2017 without being reviewed by a three-prosecutor panel.

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Attorney Jon Paul Rion has previously said both sides were working toward a plea agreement. Rion has said his client could have been a potential victim during the incident.

Martin moved to Georgia for a job with his uncle’s company. Martin was released on bond, but is on electronic monitoring and required to travel back to Dayton for hearings.

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