TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A veterans’ advocate is asking state leaders to appoint a new prosecutor to take another look at the 2015 shooting death of a decorated Navy SEAL.
Tim Martin, 37, was shot in the parking lot of The Soho Backyard in November 2015 by the business’ co-owner Jeffrey Glenn, who told police he feared for his life.
Police say Martin went to the SoHo Backyard unarmed and got into a fistfight about a girl with Glenn. The confrontation seemed to be over when Glenn left but, according to investigators, he went back in the bar, came back with a handgun and fired, hitting Martin in the head.
Veterans’ advocate Travis Horn read a two-page letter on Wednesday in an Ybor City park that he said was frequented by Martin and his son. Horn said he sent the letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody to request their involvement in Martin’s death.
“This was never investigated properly. A lot of questions were not asked,” Horn said. “We want the state to reassign this to another state attorney.”
Current 13th District State Attorney Andrew Warren, as well as his predecessor Mark Ober, did not to prosecute Glenn, deciding the shooting was self-defense under “stand your ground.”
But in the civil lawsuit filed against Glenn, Judge Emily Peacock denied his claim for immunity. Peacock wrote that the defendant “failed to demonstrate that he was justified in using deadly force.”
Martin’s sister Hannah Fager, who was relieved by Judge Peacock’s ruling, said investigators have never looked close enough at her brother’s side of what happened.
“He never got to say what happened, and investigators didn’t seem to care,” Fager said. “There was no justice. [Glenn] left and came back with a gun. My brother didn’t have a gun. How is that stand your ground?”
Horn said one of several elements missed by investigators involves the reason Glenn claims he feared for his life. Police say Martin had threatened Glenn in text messages sent to a mutual friend but, according to Horn, the threats were taken out of context.
“In the same context, if you read his text message thread, he says, ‘I’m just venting. You know I would never hurt anyone,'” Horn said.
Glenn and his attorney chose not to comment.
A hearing on the civil lawsuit is scheduled for Thursday, with the defense expected to ask a judge for a gag order to stop the plaintiffs from talking about the case in public.
“I’ll be devastated,” Fager said when asked how she will feel if the gag order is granted. “I feel it’s my right to speak for my brother who never got a chance to speak for himself. So for me, that’s not even right.”