Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Covering Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Falls City and surrounding areas since 1868
July 02, 2012
DALLAS -- The two men accused of severely beating an Independence man pleaded not guilty Thursday in Polk County Circuit Court to charges included in grand jury indictments.
Eleazar Martinez, 19, and Guadalupe Trujillo, 25, now are facing the same charges: felony second-degree assault, third-degree assault, fourth-degree assault, tampering with physical evidence, harassment, and second-degree disorderly conduct.
The beating occurred in the early morning hours of June 9 in Independence at the corner of North Main and Grand streets.
The victim, Samuel Fitts, 29, was so severely injured that he was in a coma at Salem Hospital for nearly four days. He has since been released.
According to a probable cause statement filed with the court, Fitts, Martinez and Trujillo were all at Arena Sports Bar, 174 S. Main St., before the assault and may have had a confrontation at the bar.
Court documents said after the confrontation at the bar, Fitts left to go home. Minutes later surveillance cameras caught two men later identified as Martinez and Trujillo leaving the bar. Surveillance footage from another camera in town caught Trujillo and Martinez walking the same route through town as Fitts, according to court documents.
Minutes later, a witness called police to report the fight at about 1:45 a.m. The responding officer was unable to find the men, but did find a pool of blood and bandanna at the intersection where the fight occurred.
The witness told police Fitts appeared angry and was yelling at someone behind him. The witness, who was driving, said two figures ran toward Fitts and the fight ensued.
After an investigation, which included witnesses identifying Trujillo and Martinez in photo lineups, the pair were arrested on June 13.
The defendants are scheduled to appear in court Thursday for pretrial conferences.
Martinez remains in custody at Polk County Jail on $132,500 bail. Trujillo has been released from custody.