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22 December 2010

Maryland Man Gets Life Sentence, Girlfriend Shot After Abortion Refusal


A Maryland man was given a life sentence in prison after a court convicted him of attempting to have his pregnant girlfriend killed because she refused to have an abortion.

Charles Brandon Martin, 33, arranged to have Jodi Torok killed when she told him he was pregnant. He has four children with Torok and two children with another woman.

Jerold Raymond Burks was allegedly the triggerman in the incident but he tried to convince police officials someone named Maggie pulled the trigger. But, at Burks’ trial, prosecutors made a case that Burks shot Torok to work off a $400 drug debt to Martin.

Martin was found not guilty in May of soliciting murder, according to the Baltimore Sun, but he was convicted of attempted first-degree murder and related charges. That came when a DNA expert testified in court that Martin’s DNA was found on a homemade silencer Burks used on his gun to conceal the shot that injured Torok.

Martin’s attorney, Leonard Stamm, had hoped the court would keep Marin in prison for 9 or 10 years, but Anne Arundel County judge Pamela L. North gave him a life sentence after officials acquired a letter Martin tried to send to acquit Burks.

The letter attempted to pin the blame on the shooting on “Maggie.”

Anastasia Prigge, an assistant Anne Arundel County state’s attorney prosecuting the case, told the Sun the life sentence was appropriate.

“Life. He is a very dangerous man,” Prigge said.

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