Friday, February 21, 2014

Former KU football player pleads guilty to felony robbery



Chris Martin

Christopher S. Martin, a 22-year-old former Kansas University football player and one of four men arrested following a May 2013 robbery in west Lawrence, pleaded guilty to felony robbery on Friday.

Martin appeared in Douglas County District Court on Friday and pleaded guilty to an amended charge, which was reduced from an original aggravated robbery charge.

“I took U.S. currency and marijuana from Marcus D. Folks,” Martin told District Judge Paula Martin on Friday, referring to the 25-year-old KU student allegedly robbed during the May 13 incident at a home in the 1900 block of Camelback Drive.

Martin admitted to grabbing the cash, which prosecutors determined to be less than $100, and running off. Initial reports by police suspected Martin and three other men of robbing Folks at gunpoint. Martin’s attorney, Sarah Swain, said Friday that the amended charge agreed upon after negotiations made no reference to a weapon being used. Also as part of the agreement, the prosecution will not ask that Martin be required to register as a violent offender.

Martin, an Oakland, Calif., native, now attends New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, N.M., and was listed as a junior defensive lineman for the school’s football team. Still free on a $35,000 bond, Martin will return to Douglas County for sentencing on April 4. He faces between 31 and 136 months depending on his criminal history and is eligble for probation, for which Swain has asked.

Martin transferred to Kansas in 2013 as a four-star defensive end, but he did not appear in a game prior to his arrest.

Three others were arrested in connection with the alleged robbery, including two other former KU football players: Christopher A. Omigie and Jeremiah L. Edwards. Omigie pleaded guilty to felony theft charges last month in exchange for testimony against Martin during a trial that was previously scheduled for early March. Omigie, who now lives in Texas and is free on a $30,000 bond, admitted to being an accomplice to the crime, and his defense attorney told the judge that Omigie served as a driver during the robbery. Omigie faces five to seven months, presumptive probation and a possible fine of up to $100,000. He will be sentenced March 21.

Edwards, 21 of Lawrence, was sentenced in October to three years of probation, and the other man charged, Joshua Edwards, 28 of Garland, Texas, was sentenced in August to two years of probation.


David A. Smith 7 years, 9 months ago

I remember this time last year, daydreaming about our defensive line/ends/bucks. What a difference a year makes. There's more to life than football, and much more to Martin and his life. But, still...

Bobby Oviemena Birhiray 7 years, 9 months ago

This is stupid... clearly this drug dealer exaggerated about the gun and how much was stolen. Plus a rumors going around saying the dealer stole from them first. Stupid! I wish Martin did not get caught up in this mess. I think he a good DE/OLB

Erich Hartmann 7 years, 9 months ago

This is NOT a case of wrong place, wrong time. How many people were involved? This is just plain stupidity by any Div.1 athlete to be even in the vicinity of such activity, or even if drugs are present. There is no telling how the facts or events or possession could be "spun" later...the absolute bottom line is no athlete, or any responsible college student should be around such things. (That being said, of course college kids are exposed to all sorts of things...but the avg. joe-college-kid isnt going to draw the spectrum of attention that an athlete will, especially a high-profile athlete). Weis was 100% correct in kicking Martin and Omigie off the team. Yes, I'd suffer another 2 or 3 losses (maybe we did...) by not having these 2 distractions on the team. These types of players/people arent even part of the discussion of "ku football", no matter how sad the record.

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