Linn County Metro

Quarzone Martin found guilty in Cedar Rapids murder case

Jury decides Martin fatally shot Andrew Meeks during July drug deal

Quarzone Martin talks with someone during a break in his trial at Linn County District Court in Cedar Rapids Dec. 14. Martin was found guilty of second-degree murder by a jury on Tuesday. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Quarzone Martin talks with someone during a break in his trial at Linn County District Court in Cedar Rapids Dec. 14. Martin was found guilty of second-degree murder by a jury on Tuesday. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Quarzone Martin was found guilty of second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Andrew Meeks during a July drug deal in Cedar Rapids.

Prosecutor in the case and Assistant Linn County Attorney Jordan Schier on Wednesday confirmed that a verdict had been reached Tuesday and read Wednesday morning in Linn County District Court.

“I thought it was an appropriate verdict. I thought the jury did an amazing job,” Schier said.

Martin, 25, had been charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder, going armed with intent and willful injury causing serious injury.

The jury found him guilty of second-degree murder, assault with intent to inflect serious injury, willful injury causing serious injury and going armed with intent.

Schier said sentencing should take place in February. Martin was being held Wednesday in the Linn County Jail.

“This is just an unfortunate case of gun violence. It’s the sort of offense our office takes very seriously,” County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden said. “These kind of cases are a top priority for us. We’re grateful for the verdict of the jury. Justice was served.”

Martin’s charges stem from a July 2 incident when Meeks, 26, and Johnny Moore Jr., 30, both of Cedar Rapids, were shot while all three men were in a car together.

Moore was in the back seat and was shot in the chest, while Meeks, the driver, died of a gunshot wound to his neck.

The car crashed into a guard rail at a southwest Cedar Rapids Wal-Mart after shots were fired. Martin was gone from the scene when police arrived.

Moore testified that the shooting took place while the three men were making a drug deal for Xanax pills.

Martin had argued he shot the men in self-defense when they tried to rob him of the drugs.

Schier said the details surrounding the incident created a challenge.

“You’re dealing with a case that’s basically a drug deal that went bad, the defendant was the individual selling the drugs and the individual that was killed was buying drugs,” Schier said. “Any time you have somebody engaging in illegal activity, there’s always concerns about if people are going to be given their fair chance at being treated as victims as they should be.

“I believe that was the challenging part, but the jury judged the case on the facts like it should have been and treated it as they should have and I think they did an appropriate job.”

l Comments: (319) 339-3175; mitchell.schmidt@thegazette.com

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