In one of the more disturbing stories of the college basketball season, looks like Wyoming’s Luke Martinez’s court case is about to get started.
The story comes from Ben Frederickson of the Casper Star-Tribune.
The second-leading scorer for the Cowboys, a fifth-year senior had his arraignment date set for March 6 at 11 a.m.
If you remember, Martinez was arrested on felony assault charges after he kicked an already-knocked out man in the head — getting a running start to do so — following a bar fight in which one of his teammates, reserve forward Derek Cooke, Jr, was involved. The man who was kicked underwent surgery for a broken jaw after the fight. Guard Nathan Sobey was also present when the fight happened. Cooke, Jr., knocked the victim out with a punch during the fight prior to the kick.
Martinez admitted to kicking the man in the head during the fight to authorities, after sticking around the scene afterward to speak to police. Several witnesses told authorities that Martinez kicked the victim after he was down. He suffered a broken fourth metacarpal in his right hand in the fight and had missed three games prior to his arrest.
This is what is most upsetting. The man was out. Had Martinez walked away nothing happens. But it wasn’t enough that the guy got what he deserved, apparently. Just can’t understand that.
Martinez has been suspended indefinitely by the team. Sobey and Cooke have continued to play, although have performed community service.
The 6-4, 190-pound Martinez has been out on $25,000 bond since Jan. 15. Martinez can plead not guilty and go to trial or plead guilty and hope for a lenient punishment. Wyoming state law has felonious assault punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a possible fine.
You’d have to think after all the evidence, that Martinez will plead out right? He doesn’t seem to have a record, so a short jail sentence and a fine might be wait he looks at, along with post-release parameters.
The Bismarck, North Dakota native was averaging 14.5 points and shooting 45.4-percent from the field through 12 games before the incident occurred on Dec. 30 at the Buckhorn Bar.
It’s horrible situation, but one that Martinez allegedly brought onto himself. And one that could put I gigantic dent in Wyoming’s solid season. I doubt he suits up for the Pokes again.
David Harten is the editor of The Backboard Chronicles. Follow him on Twitter at @David_Harten.