After a security guard was killed at Motel 6, an acquaintance of Kori Ali Muhammad tried to take evidence from the scene, but was stopped by hotel security and a witness, according to a Fresno police detective’s affidavit made public Thursday in Fresno County Superior Court.
Lisa Renee Martin, 53, was taken into custody on a felony charge of being an accessory after the April 13 killing of security guard Carl Allen Williams III for “failing to comply with officers’ orders and refusing to identify the shooter by name or destination,” the affidavit says.
As of Thursday, Martin, who was not in jail, had not been charged.
With Martin’s help, the shooter escaped the police dragnet.
Fresno police detective Bartlett Ledbetter
Homicide Detective Bartlett Ledbetter’s April 14 affidavit gives a detailed description of the events leading up to the killing of Williams – a crime captured by the motel’s security cameras – and accuses Martin of trying to leave the Blackstone Avenue motel with evidence.
After the killing, the affidavit says, Martin barricaded herself in a motel room. Police then had to kick in the door to get inside.
Inside the room, the affidavit says, police found a backpack, which contained documents with the name “Kori Ali Muhammad” and “four revolver speed loaders with live .357 caliber bullets.”
“After comparing Muhammad’s DMV and social media photographs with the motel’s security camera footage, there is no doubt Muhammad is the murderer,” the affidavit says.
The affidavit gives this account of Williams’ murder:
Police were dispatched to Motel 6 at 11:11 p.m. after receiving numerous 911 calls. Officers found Williams unconscious in front of the motel office. “He had been shot three or more times (front, back and side),” the affidavit says.
Williams was taken to Community Regional Medical Center, where he was declared dead at 12:55 a.m.
According to motel staff, Martin and her friend, identified in the affidavit as Muhammad, were being evicted because they refused to pay an extra visitor fee.
The affidavit says police found a backpack in the Motel 6 room that contained documents with the name “Kori Ali Muhammad” and “four revolver speed loaders with live .357 caliber bullets.”
Williams, who was unarmed, “responded to the motel to help another security guard” with the eviction, the affidavit says.
While Williams was talking to Martin, “the African American male suspect pulled out a revolver from his waistline and without provocation shot decedent three or more times,” the affidavit says.
“The shooting (murder) was in cold blood,” the affidavit says.
The motel’s security camera captured the shooter’s face, clothing and revolver. It also captured “Martin witnessing the shooting and trying to leave the motel with the suspected evidence,” the affidavit says.
Martin tried to flee, but hotel security and a witness stopped her. Initially, Martin said she did not know the gunman, but she later said the suspect was her daughter’s friend.
Martin then returned to her room. When police went to the room, she refused to let them in and cursed them, the affidavit says. Police then busted the door to gain entry.
Ledbetter writes: “With Martin’s help, the shooter escaped the police dragnet.”
Police later learned Muhammad ran to a nearby 7-Eleven, climbed onto the roof and watched as investigators searched the Motel 6 and interviewed witnesses. He waited on the rooftop all night and climbed down in the morning once he realized police had left, then hid in a trash container at a nearby school, police Chief Jerry Dyer said Wednesday.
The detective’s affidavit was written in support of a warrant to download information from three cell phones that belonged to Martin and Muhammad. It is not yet known what evidence police recovered from the download.
Muhammad, 39, also is accused of killing Zackary David Randalls, 34, of Clovis; Mark James Gassett, 37, of Fresno; and David Martin Jackson, 58, of Fresno, in a shooting rampage on Tuesday near downtown Fresno.
Muhammed is black. All of his victims were white. Police Chief Jerry Dyer has said the killings were fueled by Muhammad’s hatred of white people.
Court records say Martin has voiced concerns about white police officers. In May 2013, Fresno police pulled her over for having no registration tabs on her vehicle. When on officer asked for her driver’s license, she said she didn’t have one and gave a fake name, the court documents say.
When Martin rolled up her window and refused to cooperate, the officer called for backup. When backup arrived, Martin complained that there were “too many white officers.” She asked for a black officer to respond. But when the black officer responded, she still didn’t cooperate, so police ended up breaking a window of her car in order to arrest her on a misdemeanor charge of obstructing police.
While awaiting trial, Martin was arrested again, but this time for resisting arrest, court records say. In August 2014, police were going to impound her car because it had expired tags. Police said Martin then gave officers false information about her car registration. “She became irate and confrontational,” court records said. She also cursed police and came within two inches of one officer, yelling and screaming at him, and challenging him to fight.
“You are a coward with a badge,” she told the officer, according to court records. “Why don’t you take your badge off and see what happens.” She was then arrested on misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest and giving police false information about her car registration.
But in a trial in May last year, a jury found her not guilty of resisting arrest. A week after the verdict, Martin pleaded no contest of giving false information to police about her car registration, a charge that was reduced to an infraction. She was fined $350. After he plea, her May 2013 misdemeanor case for obstructing police was dismissed in the interest of justice, court records say.