A man, formerly of Chatsworth, was sentenced on Friday by Superior Court Judge Cindy Morris to five consecutive life sentences in prison, the first to be served without the possibility of parole, plus 20 years, for the March 7 rape and assault of a 27-year-old Chatsworth woman.
Kirk Taylor Martin, 29, was convicted on Oct. 11 by a Murray County jury of rape, aggravated sexual battery (three counts), aggravated sodomy, aggravated assault by strangulation (two counts) and aggravated assault with the intent to rape.
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.
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 caseload in Whitfield County.
At trial, Kenemer called 12 witnesses and tendered more than 200 exhibits. Kenemer was assisted at trial by the lead investigator in the case, Special Agent Adam Jones of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Sheriff Gary Langford of 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. Jones conducted a thorough investigation which ultimately resulted in a recorded confession from Martin which was played for the jury. Martin admitted 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.
The District Attorney’s Office would like to 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. Morris stated that her sentence would ensure 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, while the third was unable to attend but submitted a written victim impact statement to the court. We hope the conviction and the sentencing will bring closure to all three women.
We would also like to thank the jury of four women and eight men from Murray County who listened attentively to the evidence for an entire week and deliberated for four hours before returning their verdict after 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 11. Criminal cases cannot be resolved without local citizens who are willing to come forward and do their duty as jurors. We thank them for their service.