A Patrick Springs man suffered multiple gunshot wounds, including one to the back, and the man charged in connection with the incident made his first court appearance Thursday.
Clarence Michael Eugene Peery, 23, of Denise Drive, Bassett, was charged Wednesday with first degree murder in connection with the shooting death of James Robert “JR” Martin, of Patrick Springs.
Peery appeared in Patrick County General District Court on Thursday afternoon wearing red and white striped inmate clothing, leg irons and waist chains with handcuffs.
He sat quietly in court, answering questions posed to him by Judge Robert Bushnell, who generally presides over cases heard in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, but also can preside over General District Court cases.
Bushnell, who heard the case in the absence of General District Court Judge Marcus Brinks, explained that Peery had three options: request a court appointed attorney, hire his own attorney or waive the right to counsel and act as his own attorney.
“In a case of this nature, it would be very, very unwise to do that” third option, Bushnell said.
When asked which option he preferred, Peery said, “I’d like a court appointed lawyer.”
Bushnell ruled a public defender will be appointed to represent Peery on the murder charge and a related charge, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
Martin, 29, of Anthony Drive, died shortly after suffering a gunshot wound Tuesday while at a home on Hardie Stone Road, authorities have said.
A criminal complaint filed Wednesday afternoon in the Patrick County General District Court clerk’s office alleged a man with a loaded firearm left his home in Bassett and drove to 4374 Hardie Stone Road on Tuesday. There, the man allegedly waited outside for Martin to walk out of the house.
When he exited the home, Martin suffered a gunshot wound to the front left side of his body, the complaint stated. At some point as Martin tried to flee, he suffered a gunshot wound to the back, the complaint added.
Authorities said they responded to the home on Hardie Stone Road in reference to an alleged domestic disturbance in which a person had been shot.
Upon further investigation, investigators determined a pregnant woman at that residence was allegedly assaulted, the release stated.
The woman’s brother responded to the home to protect her, according to the release, which added that Martin was in a relationship with the woman, and that they have a child together.
Initially, Patrick County Sheriff Dan Smith said that Martin suffered a gunshot wound to the abdomen, and then got into his vehicle and tried to leave the home.
Several more shots allegedly were fired into the vehicle before it left the driveway, headed east on Hardie Stone Road, according to Smith, who added that Martin’s vehicle came to a stop at the intersection with County Line Road a short distance away.
First responders arrived on scene and administered first aid, Smith said.
Martin was pronounced dead a short time later, according to Smith, who added the body was transported to the state medical examiner’s office for an autopsy.
Smith said the autopsy results received Wednesday indicated that Martin was shot multiple times.
Peery is being held without bail in the Patrick County Jail.