Grand jury to get case of man accused of killing and burning acquaintance

Case sent to grand jury after hearing

shopkins@herald-leader.comApril 5, 2011 

A Lexington homicide detective testified during a preliminary hearing Monday in Fayette District Court that a man accused of shooting another man, then burning the victim's body, confessed to police during an interrogation.

Detective Franz Wolff said Sidney Lane Williams Jr., 36, who is charged with murder in the death of Victor Martin, 39, told police he moved Martin's body after shooting him. Martin's burning body was found on the morning of Aug. 15 near a driveway on Russell Cave Road.

Williams, who was arrested March 25, also is charged with tampering with physical evidence and abuse of a corpse.

After the hearing, Fayette District Judge Joseph T. Bouvier found probable cause to send the case to a grand jury.

Williams and Martin were friends who used to work together at Aichi Forge, a metal-forging company in Georgetown, police said.

Martin had gone to visit Williams at Williams' home before Martin was last seen Aug. 14, Wolff testified in court.

"Mr. Williams stated that a confrontation occurred with the victim over the victim smoking narcotics," Wolff said.

The detective said Williams told police he did not want Martin smoking in his home. Wolff said Williams admitted he shot Martin, who died from a gunshot wound to the head. Williams told police the firearm, which police have not recovered, belonged to Martin.

"The defendant stated that it was possible self-defense," Wolff said.

A homeowner who was going outside to get his newspaper found Martin's burning body Aug. 15, police say.

Bouvier set Williams' bond at $500,000 cash.

Relatives of Williams and Martin were in court Monday but declined to comment.

After the hearing, defense attorney Bonnie Potter said she was disappointed the hearing proved limited because many of her questions were not allowed in court.

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