Mishawaka man charged with killing man’s roommate after fight over wallet
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Two men were arrested and one has been charged with murder after a shooting that killed one in South Bend last Friday.
The suspect, identified as Mikail Martinez, 23, has been charged with one count of felony murder, one count of battery resulting in moderate bodily injury, and one count of resisting law enforcement.
According to the probable cause affidavit, Martinez ran into an old coworker at a bar on the night of Nov. 11. The two caught up before Martinez left the bar to take a call, subsequently leaving his wallet on the bar, in the care of his friend. Martinez then came back in, announced he had to leave, and left without his wallet on his person.
The man who was in possession of Martinez’s wallet received a call from his own sister later that evening. She was with Martinez, who was requesting his wallet be returned to him.
The man told Martinez he was holding it for him and gave him his address to retrieve it.
Martinez then arrived at the residence on Vasser and demanded the wallet be returned to him. The man gave the wallet back to Martinez who then angrily claimed the contents had been removed. The man suggested they head to the driveway to check the car he left the bar in, and they found the cards in a small stack on the seat. The man handed over the cards to Martinez, who proceeded to hit him over the head, knocking him down and disorienting him.
The man’s roommate and victim, identified as Lawrence Witzke, then helped the man back to the porch and told Martinez to leave.
Martinez instead did the opposite by approaching the porch, where he struck the man again with a metal object. After repeated attempts to tell Martinez to leave, Martinez pulled out a black handgun and fired several shots, striking Witzke.
Another man who was riding along with Martinez that evening then grabbed the suspect and said, “We have to go!”
The two then fled in a blue PT Cruiser.
After a quick search, officers located the PT Cruiser on Scott Street as it attempted to drive through the construction site at United Drive. The car then drove through the chain-link fence and got stuck. The passenger, identified as Kyle Johnson, immediately surrendered.
Johnson faces one count of assisting a criminal.
Martinez fled on foot but was taken into custody after a short pursuit.
The charge for murder in Indiana has a sentencing guideline of between 45 and 65 years in prison.
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