Quarzone Martin trial: Defense questions shooting victim on changing his account of shooting more than once

Quarzone Martin listens to proceedings in a suppression hearing in Linn County District Court in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. Martin is charged with first-degree murder in the July 2017 fatal shooting of Andrew Meeks. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Quarzone Martin listens to proceedings in a suppression hearing in Linn County District Court in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. Martin is charged with first-degree murder in the July 2017 fatal shooting of Andrew Meeks. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — A lawyer defending Quarzone Martin, charged in fatal shooting of one man and injuring another, grilled the injured man Friday about changing his account of the July 2 shooting more than once.

Tyler Johnston questioned Johnny Moore Jr. for over an hour on Friday regarding his testimony from Thursday when he testified that Martin shot him in the chest and fatally shot Andrew Meeks while they were all in a car making a drug deal for Xanax pills. Johnston repeatedly asked him why he first told police from his hospital bed on July 3 that Meeks planned to rob Martin but then, on the stand Thursday, said he nor Meeks robbed Martin.

Martin is claiming he shot the men in self-defense because they attempted to rob him of the drugs.

Johnston told Moore the video surveillance of them in the westside Wal-Mart parking lot seemed to match his first account of events that day.

Moore repeatedly said he lied in that first interview because he was on medication and he didn’t trust the police. He also said he didn’t remember telling police some of things.

This was the second day of testimony in the Linn County case. Martin, 25, is charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder, going armed with intent and willful injury causing serious injury. He is accused of fatally shooting Meeks, 26, and injuring Moore, 30, both of Cedar Rapids, on July 2.

Moore testified Thursday that Martin got in a car with him and Meeks to sell them Xanax, but Martin didn’t have enough pills and they called off the deal. Martin got out of the car but then got back in and had a gun. Meeks, who was driving, accelerated as he tried to push the gun away from Martin. Martin then shot him and shot Moore, who was in the back seat.

Johnston on Friday asked Moore why he lied, saying Meeks planned to rob Martin “He was your good friend, your “brother,” he added.

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Moore said he didn’t know. He didn’t trust police because he grew up in Chicago and based on those experiences, he didn’t trust police officers. He also said his stomach “was wide open” at the time and it was packed with gauze. He doesn’t remember some of the things he said.

Johnston asked why did he also lie about Moore and Meeks picking up Martin to just give him a ride and didn’t mention a drug deal. And that Martin shot him through the front seat — meaning the bullet went through the front seat before hitting him.

Moore said he lied.

Johnston asked if Moore also lied about him and Meeks not robbing Martin.

Moore repeatedly said they didn’t rob Martin and they didn’t bring guns to the drug meet. Martin was the only person with a gun and the only one who shot them.

The audio of the first interview at the hospital was played for the jurors at the end of Thursday’s testimony and police had to repeat questions to Moore and Moore seemed like he didn’t understand at times, and he made sounds like he was having difficulty breathing.

The trial continues Monday and is expected to wrap up next week.

l Comments: (319) 398-8318; trish.mehaffey@thegazette.com

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