Andrew Martinez, 24, of Kyle, Texas, was convicted of murder this week for shooting Jacob Lambert in 2014…
Evidence at the trial, which began December 2, 2019, showed that Andrew Martinez, a small-time marijuana dealer, was the passenger in a car conducting drug deals in the Kyle area on September 14, 2014.
In the late evening hours, the car stopped in the Waterleaf neighborhood in Kyle for the driver of the vehicle to finalize a drug deal with another dealer. Upon the vehicle’s arrival, 19- year-old Jacob Lambert approached the car while the transaction was taking place.
An argument ensued between Lambert and Martinez, who was also 19 at the time. Eventually, the car pulled away and accelerated towards the end of the street.
The driver then turned the vehicle around to leave the neighborhood. As the car returned to the scene of the argument, Martinez opened fire on Lambert from the passenger window. Lambert was pronounced dead by EMTs after their arrival.
Martinez and the vehicle’s other occupants were apprehended by the Hays County Sheriff’s Office shortly thereafter. Martinez had thrown the murder weapon—a stolen .40 caliber handgun—out of the window of the vehicle on Highway 21, where it was later recovered by police.
At trial, Martinez claimed he had shot Lambert in self-defense, despite no evidence of Lambert’s possessing a weapon at the time. Five eyewitnesses to the shooting—the three other occupants of the vehicle, Lambert’s friend who had accompanied him to the vehicle, and a neighbor located in a nearby house—refuted Martinez’s version of events and established that Lambert, while angry at Martinez that night, was unarmed and had done nothing to justify Martinez’s opening fire.
The jury rejected Martinez’s self-defense claim and found him guilty of Murder, and also rejected his sudden passion claim and sentenced Martinez to 45 years in prison. 22nd Judicial District Court Judge Bruce Boyer presided over the trial.
The Hays County District Attorney, Wes Mau, congratulated Assistant District Attorneys Ben Gillis and Jamie Liu for their hard work, and commended former Kyle Police Officer Adam Watson and Detective Joseph Swonke for their excellent investigative efforts.
Recalling the six teenagers arrested earlier this week for capital murder, Wes Mau lamented this and other recent losses of Hays County youth to senseless violence, but said, “The jury’s verdict and swift sentence of Mr. Martinez make it clear that our community believes even young violent offenders must be held accountable.”