An Olympia man accused of killing an Illinois man at an Interstate 5 rest stop on Tuesday is being held in the Thurston County jail in lieu of $1 million bail.
Daniel Martinez, 31, made his preliminary appearance in Thurston County Superior Court on Wednesday. Troopers arrested him at the southbound Maytown Rest Area parking lot Tuesday on suspicion of second-degree murder.
Washington State Patrol alleges Martinez shot and killed a 62-year-old man from Schaumburg, Illinois, after a “verbal altercation,” according to a press memo. Following the incident, WSP publicly called for any witnesses to come forward.
On Wednesday, Judge Anne Egeler found probable cause for the alleged crime and set the bail amount. In doing so, she reasoned Martinez may commit a violence crime or fail to appear at his next court hearings if released.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Cailen Cecil asked the court to set bail at $2 million given the severity of the crime.
“This is a very tragic and terrible crime,” Cecil said. “It appears the defendant shot and killed the victim in the back of the head.”
Public defense attorney Matthew Kellegrew said Martinez lacked a substantial criminal history and has not previously failed to appear in court. Martinez’s criminal history includes just one Olympia property damage charge from 2015, according to court records.
Kellegrew said it was unclear what led up to the shooting. He also requested bail be set at a “reasonable amount” given Martinez’s financial situation. Martinez’s arraignment hearing has been scheduled for June 13.
A probable cause statement describes the investigation into the incident from the perspective of law enforcement.
Thurston County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived at the rest stop at 4:21 p.m. Tuesday. A deputy reportedly found the Illinois man lying on his back near a blue pickup truck and Martinez lying prone on a sidewalk as if he had been ordered to do so by law enforcement.
Witnesses pointed to Martinez when the deputy asked who the shooter was, according to the statement. Martinez reportedly wore only shorts and socks and told the deputy he felt threatened. The deputy handcuffed Martinez before attempting to aid the Illinois man, according to the statement.
Multiple law enforcement and fire personnel tried to revive the shot man, but he was pronounced dead at the scene. Another deputy walked Martinez to a patrol vehicle. While he did so, Martinez allegedly said, “I should have just shot him in the leg. I shouldn’t have shot him in the head.”
Martinez allegedly said he had asked the Illinois man to buy his PlayStation 4 several times and he needed money to travel south.
WSP Detective Brooke Bova later contacted Martinez, but he declined to speak. She noted he appeared calm and lucid, and his speech was clear, according to the statement.
Bova called a witness who left their contact information with law enforcement. The witness reportedly said he saw Martinez approach the Illinois man’s vehicle with the video game console before hearing a loud “pop.”
The witness said he approached Martinez after observing him disrobe, according to the statement. He reportedly saw the injured Illinois man and a handgun on the ground and asked Martinez if he just shot him.
In response, Martinez allegedly said he believed the Illinois man was going to sexually assault him.
WSP collected the handgun and confirmed it belonged to Martinez, according to the statement. It reportedly contained a 10-round magazine with one bullet missing.
The statement says a shell casing was found near the Illinois man, but no bullet was found at the scene. The Thurston County Coroner’s Office reportedly found one entrance wound on the back of the Illinois man’s head.
The Olympian has asked the Coroner’s Office to share the Illinois man’s identity and cause of death. WSP initially withheld his identity until his next of kin could be notified.
Anyone who witnessed the incident or has relevant information can contact WSP Detective Brooke Bova at 360-701-8284.