FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 26, 2020
For media inquiries only, contact:
Mike Lewis (334) 353-2199
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
Attorney General Steve Marshall Announces Court of Criminal Appeals Upholds
Capital Murder Conviction of George Martin
(MONTGOMERY)—Attorney General Steve Marshall announced that the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals has affirmed the conviction of George Martin for the 1995 capital murder of his wife. Martin was convicted in Mobile County Circuit Court in June 2019 for the murder of Hammoleketh Martin, and was sentenced to life without parole.
“Twenty five years ago George Martin took the life of his wife by setting her on fire in order to collect insurance money,” said Attorney General Marshall. “Martin, a former state trooper, who was originally convicted of this heinous crime twenty years ago, has spent decades evading justice. Today, the Court of Criminal Appeals upheld Martin’s second capital murder conviction and his sentence of life without parole. It is finally time for this cold-blooded killer
to pay for his crime.”
Martin was previously convicted in Mobile County Circuit Court in 2000 and served 15 years on death row for killing his wife. In 2015, his conviction was overturned and a new trial was ordered. Rather than proceeding with a retrial, the lower court dismissed the indictment and Martin was freed. The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the lower court’s decision in 2016. The Attorney General’s Criminal Appeals Division argued that the indictment was improperly dismissed and that Martin should be required to stand trial again. On August 31,
2018, the Alabama Supreme Court agreed and ordered Martin be retried for capital murder.
In its August 2018 order, the Alabama Supreme Court restated the facts of the case as follows:
“In 1995, the charred remains of Martin’s wife, Hammoleketh, were found inside a burned vehicle that had collided with a tree. Although it appeared to be an accident, evidence indicated that the vehicle fire was intentionally set and that the victim was alive when the fire started. Further evidence indicated that Martin made inconsistent statements to law enforcement concerning the time he discovered his wife missing, whether his wife carried a gasoline can in her vehicle and whether his wife had used a BIC brand lighter found at the scene as a flashlight because the dome light in her vehicle did not work.”
Although Martin acknowledged the existence of a $200,000 life insurance policy, he denied there was any other. However, there was passenger in a vehicle. A trooper report prepared by Martin the year before involved an accident with similar circumstances.
Attorney General Marshall commended Assistant Attorney General Audrey Jordan who handled the appeal, as well as Assistant Attorneys General Andrew Arrington, Tina Hammonds and Polly Kenny for their dedicated work in securing Martin’s conviction. Marshall also gave special thanks to Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich for her invaluable assistance in this case.