COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - New details are emerging as the first court hearing for a man accused of killing two brothers at a Columbus motel took place.
25-year-old Jacob Martel waived his right to appear in court and instead pleaded not guilty to the murders of 21-year-old Eric Giddens and his brother, 22-year-old Quindarrius Giddens.
According to Martel’s statement to police, he claims he shot the brothers in self-defense after they tried to rob him.
Martel was reportedly meeting with Eric Giddens to sell a gun in a room at the Motel 6 rented out by Martel’s cousin. He claims that Eric and his brother Quindarrius saw that he had a large amount of marijuana and stated they were going to rob him.
Martel’s cousin reportedly had no knowledge of the alleged meet-up and was away from the room when the brothers arrived. The cousin arrived to the room a short time later with the gun Martel was supposed to be selling Eric Giddens. Martel’s statement claims that this is when Giddens began threatening the cousins with a separate gun. He later admitted to not knowing if Eric Giddens had a gun, and that he opened fire.
Police say Martel then grabbed the gun from the black backpack it was being carried in and fired three or four shots at Eric Giddens in the breezeway outside the motel room. He then entered the room and fired an undisclosed amount of shots at Quindarrius Giddens.
Police reported that Eric Giddens was in position of a BB gun and a pistol grip was visible from his front pocket at the time of the incident. The portions of the incident that took place in the breezeway outside the motel room were caught on surveillance camera.
One officer testified in court that Martel had multiple avenues of escape. He reported that if he felt Martel’s actions were excessive and if he were the detective, he would charge him with murder.
Officers on the scene recovered four firearms, including the alleged murder weapon.
Martel’s case was bound over to Superior Court who will determine if a bond will be set. He remains in the Muscogee County Jail.
The cousin is not being charged at this time.