Capital murder trial with bizarre twist begins

Friend who set up robbery testifies against accused killer

SAN ANTONIO – In a bizarre turn of events, David Martinez, who set up the robbery of a drug dealer, testified against the man who is on trial for killing that same drug dealer during the robbery.

Martinez was among the state’s first witnesses in the capital-murder trial of Demond Franklin on Tuesday.

Martinez testified that he, Franklin and a third man, whom he identified as Ryan Hardwick, discussed their need for money. Martinez suggested that they rob Deandre Thompson, his drug dealer.

“The plan was just to hold him at gunpoint and just, I guess, get everything he had and just leave, “ Martinez testified. “Nothing else was supposed to happen.”

On the night of October 22, 2014, the trio went to Thompson’s apartment on Northwest Military Drive, and Franklin and Hardwick hid outside in the parking lot.

“I was going to go inside and hang out with Deandre and keep them in contact on what was going on inside,” Martinez explained.

Martinez said that he went to the bathroom and secretly texted the others that it was time to come in.

“Demond was at the door,” he said. “I was just coming out of the bathroom and the next thing I know, the door got kicked open and shots were fired and I hit the floor.”

Martinez said that he heard four shots. He didn’t know who did the shooting, but he said that Franklin had a gun that night.

Martinez’s testimony was part of a plea deal. He is facing a maximum of 15 years in prison on aggravated-robbery charges in exchange for his testimony.

Hardwick has pleaded guilty to murder charges, and he, too, will testify against Franklin as part of a plea deal for a 30-year prison sentence.

If he is convicted, Franklin is facing life in prison without the possibility of parole. Testimony is expected to continue Wednesday in Judge Melisa Skinner’s 290th District Court.

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