An Oklahoma County District Court judge denied bond for a 15-year-old charged with assisting in an attempted armed robbery turned fatal shooting.
Judge Richard Kirby, who called the incident a “tragedy,” declined to grant pretrial release Monday for Marquavious Gatlin. Oklahoma City police arrested him and Elijah Godwin, 14, in early August.
The district attorney’s office charged both with first-degree murder in connection with the shooting death of Tasha Martinez-Garcia on Aug. 3. Both Godwin and Gatlin pleaded not guilty.
Homicide Detective Rocky Gregory testified during a bond hearing Monday. Gatlin mowed Martinez-Garcia’s lawn and bought drugs from her prior to the shooting, according to Gregory.
Gregory said both Godwin and Gatlin both admitted to planning to rob Martinez-Garcia of marijuana using a firearm during interviews following the shooting. Gregory alleges Godwin shot Martinez-Garcia during the attempted robbery, while Gatlin provided the firearm and the location.
Attorney Tony Coleman, Gatlin’s counsel, argued that Kirby should set a bond because of Gatlin’s lack of criminal record, active involvement in school and a student-athlete, low chance of running away, and because of his age.
“He’s not a gang member,” Coleman said during the hearing. He declined to provide a comment afterward.
Relatives of Martinez-Garcia said they were happy with Kirby’s choice to keep Gatlin incarcerated until trial.
“(Gatlin) wasn’t the person who pulled the trigger, but he was the one who provided the gun, and he knew the gun was loaded as well,” said Yasmine Flores, daughter of Martinez-Garcia. “He cut my mom’s yard more than one time, obviously so he knew my mom. He knew my mom had kids. And that’s what gets us so upset.”
During the hearing, Assistant District Attorney Coleen Galaviz said the “likelihood of convicting (Gatlin) is high,” and that denying the 15-year-old pretrial release would be “appropriate.”
Galaviz said, if convicted, she could advocate for a sentence of life in prison without parole.
She added that his co-defendant, Godwin, has a known gang affiliation.
“We’ve come to a situation where our society is taking a step towards violence,” that’s affecting children, Kirby said before denying the request for bond.