NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A 36-year-old man was sentenced to 10 years in prison for robbing and attacking a woman and her boyfriend at gunpoint.
It all began on Aug. 9, 2020 when Joseph A. Martin went to the woman’s home in the 800 block of Smith Street and angrily demanded the woman give him her boyfriend’s phone number. He also demanded money.
Martin repeatedly attacked the woman, hitting her in the head with his gun, and hitting her with a lamp. Court documents show that Martin also pushed the woman down a flight of stairs. The brutal attack resulted in severe injuries to her neck, ribs, back, hips and arms.
While this was happening, the woman’s boyfriend arrived and jumped in to stop the attack. Martin, still armed, took the man to a nearby convenience store and violently forced the man to take money from the ATM. Surveillance footage from the store shows Martin following the man into the store and yelling and kicking the man while brandishing a gun.
Less than two weeks later, on Aug. 20, 2020, Martin was apprehended by Norfolk police officers for outstanding warrants connected to the events on Aug. 9. Martin attempted to run but was caught after a short foot pursuit, and law enforcement found narcotics on him.
On Nov. 22, 2022, a Norfolk jury convicted Martin of malicious wounding, robbery and using a firearm in the commission of robbery. Martin pleaded guilty to possessing a controlled substance on Dec. 8.
On June 29, Martin was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm.
This past Friday, Judge Tasha D. Scott sentenced Mr. Martin to 33 years in prison, with 23 years suspended on the conditions that Mr. Martin cannot contact the victims and that he complete 10 years of uniform good behavior and five years of supervised probation. Mr. Martin’s total active prison sentence is 12 years.
“It is unclear why Mr. Martin was so angry, but his violent and unprovoked attacks on these victims is both frightening and worthy of a serious sanction,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Ramin Fatehi. “People should be safe in their homes and safe from harm. Mr. Martin has earned his sentence.”