Update: On Wednesday evening, Watauga County Sheriff Len Hagaman updated the media on the case regarding Jose Martins, a fugitive wanted in connection to a shooting in Florida who was found hiding out in a hotel in Boone.
Hagaman said that Martin, who recently appeared before a judge and has a bond of $250,000, is being represented by counsel. Hagaman added that Martins is still incarcerated at the Watauga County Detention Center and has not waived extradition from North Carolina to Florida. For much more information to this story, read below.
By Jesse Wood
Dec. 4, 2013. A Florida man who allegedly stood outside and fired a handgun into a Gulf Coast Town Center bar in the Sunshine State during operating hours last week was found hiding out in a hotel in Boone, according to Watauga County Sheriff Len Hagaman.
Jose Martins, 33, of Lehigh Acres, Fla., was arrested Tuesday evening. He had been on the run since the shooting incident occurred on Nov. 27 outside of the House of Brews Taps & Tapas in Lee County, Fla.
According to Hagaman, Martins is alleged to have fired more than 10 rounds from a 9 mm handgun into a packed restaurant and bar after an argument with his boss and subsequently being escorted from the House of Brews property. The News-Press.com reported that the incident occurred at about 8:30 p.m last Wednesday, and no one was injured.
According to info provided by Hagaman, the U.S. Marshal’s Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force had information that Martins might be hiding out in a small town in Western North Carolina.
Martins had used his credit card at several food establishments, gas stations and rented a room at the Boone Trail Motel on East King Street. Following surveillance by the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office and the Boone Police Department, Marins was apprehended late Tuesday when he was walking from the hotel parking lot near the corner of Council Street.
An NBC-affiliate in Lee County, Fla., noted that it could be sometime before Martin appears before a judge in Lee County:
“He’s scheduled to face a North Carolina judge this morning and one of two things will happen–he’ll either sign his extradition paperwork and Florida will then have 14 days to pick him up, or he’ll make it a little more difficult. He can refuse to sign the paperwork. His extradition will then require an agreement by governors of both states within the next 90 days.”
After the extradition, Martins face charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and firing a deadly missile into an occupied building. Martins was placed under a $250,000 bond and is to appear in court on Jan. 23, 2014, according to Hagaman.
Boone Police Department and the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office coordinated with Western District of the U.S. Marshall’s Office in Charlotte and the task force in Florida to apprehend Martins, who was deemed armed and dangerous with possible mental conditions.