Former Murray County detention officer receives 5 life sentences in aggravated rape case
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Former Murray County detention officer receives 5 life sentences in aggravated rape case

Kirk Taylor Martin, 29, formerly of Chatsworth, Ga., was sentenced Friday morning by Superior Court Judge Cindy Morris to serve five consecutive life sentences, the first to be served without the possibility of parole, plus 20 years for the March 7, 2019 rape and assault of a 27-year-old Chatsworth woman. 

Martin was previously convicted on Oct. 11 by a Murray County jury of the offenses of rape, aggravated sexual battery (three counts), aggravated sodomy, aggravated assault by strangulation (two counts) and aggravated assault with the intent to rape. Judge Morris sentenced Martin to life in prison without the possibility of parole on the rape charge plus life in prison on each of the aggravated sexual battery counts and on the aggravated sodomy count, all to run consecutive to each other and consecutive to the rape charge.  Martin received an additional 20 years on the aggravated assault by strangulation counts to run concurrent to the rape sentence. The charge of aggravated assault with the intent to rape merged into the rape conviction for sentencing purposes. 

Martin was represented by Micah Gates of the Conasauga Public Defender’s office. The state’s case was presented at trial and at sentencing by Assistant District Attorney Ben Kenemer who prosecutes all sex crimes and crimes against children in Murray County as well as carrying a full case load in Whitfield County. 

At trial, Mr. Kenemer called a total of 12 witnesses and tendered over 200 exhibits. Mr. Kenemer was assisted at trial by the lead investigator in the case, Special Agent Adam Jones of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.  The Murray County Sheriff’s Office requested that the GBI take over the investigation because Martin had previously worked as a jailer at the Murray County Jail although he had been fired for unrelated reasons prior to the rape. 

Special Agent Jones conducted the investigation which ultimately resulted in a recorded confession from Martin which was played for the jury.  Martin admitting to breaking into the victim’s home and sexually assaulting her against her will.  Martin also admitted to Jones that he had found a gun at the scene and had contemplated suicide after assaulting the victim. The jury also heard from medical witnesses concerning the victim’s injuries and from two prior victims of Martin who had never reported their own abuse and who only came forward after local news media ran stories concerning Martin’s arrest in March.  The prior sexual assaults dated as far back as 2012.  Officials with the District Attorney’s Office said, "We commend these three women for having the courage to face their abuser and to testify before a jury concerning the most traumatic and embarrassing moments of their lives.  These women are heroes for facing their fears and doing what needed to be done to hold Martin accountable and to protect future victims." Judge Morris from the bench stated that her sentence would insure that Martin never again had the opportunity to abuse another woman. The victim from the March incident and one of the prior victims were present for sentencing Friday while the third was unable to attend but submitted a written victim impact statement to the court.