Teen convicted of murder during gun sale

A jury convicted a teen Thursday in a fatal shooting inside a car during a gun sale brokered by a mutual friend, court records show.

Elijah Davis, now 19, was charged in the Aug. 24, 2022 murder of Marcos A. Martinez, 19, of Merrillville. His lawyer Scott King said it was self-defense.

Davis’ sentencing is scheduled for May 2.

Court records indicate a friend set up the sale between Martinez and Davis. The friend saw that Martinez was armed and thought he might steal the gun Davis was selling.

King said Friday he was “very disappointed” in the verdict. There was a “very strong self-defense claim, (but) the jury saw it otherwise,” he said.

Davis will likely be “fairly aggressive in pursuing an appeal”.

Merrillville Police responded to the 5600 block of Pennsylvania Street for a reported shooting.

Martinez was found shot lying on the ground. He was taken to Methodist Hospitals Southlake where he was pronounced dead, according to court records.

The friend initially lied to police, before admitting Martinez repeatedly messaged him if he knew someone selling a gun. He and Davis met up with Martinez.

Martinez jumped in Davis’ white Pontiac. Martinez had a handgun in his hoodie pocket, according to court documents.

Martinez looked at the gun for sale, before leaving, saying he needed to get money. He returned, holding and looking at both guns.

“Imma need this,” Martinez said.

“Whatchu mean, you got the money,” Davis replied.

The witness thought Martinez would steal the gun. Just as the witness opened the car door to get out, he heard gunshots. The witness saw Davis fire the “first shot,” according to documents.

The Pontiac took off, other witnesses said.

Martinez was shot “two to three times,” wounded in the chest, bicep and side, according to court records.

mcolias@post-trib.com