Charges: Northern Minnesota man ran over ex-coworker
DULUTH, Minn.—A northeast Minnesota man who allegedly ran over a former coworker with his vehicle as part of an ongoing dispute will face trial on an attempted murder charge in the fall.
Court documents allege that 30-year-old Gideon Joseph Martin of Proctor intentionally struck a pedestrian with his car last month in a Duluth neighborhood.
Authorities said Martin "sped up and veered to the left and came directly at the victim," who was tossed into the air before landing on the ground. The victim reportedly told police that the defendant yelled out, "I told you I'd get you, (expletive)!" as he committed the attack.
Martin, who remains in the St. Louis County Jail, pleaded not guilty this month to felony charges of attempted intentional second-degree murder and second-degree assault.
He appeared in State District Court in Duluth on Monday, July 30, with Sixth Judicial District Judge Sally Tarnowski scheduling a jury trial to begin Oct. 30.
The judge also granted a defense request for a mental health evaluation that would potentially allow the defense to introduce evidence of mental illness or deficiency at trial.
According to the criminal complaint:
The Duluth Police Department was dispatched to a hit-and-run crash involving a pedestrian around 7:15 p.m. June 16. The victim, who is identified only by initials B.W., did not sustain serious injuries and spoke with officers at the scene.
The victim indicated that he had been walking near the Salvation Army store when he saw a white vehicle driven by Martin speed up and aim at him. He was struck and thrown into the air before crashing into the ground.
The victim, still down, reported that he saw Martin back up approximately 5 feet and again drive forward, but he was able to scamper out of the way without being struck again.
B.W. told police that he knew the driver, Martin, and the passenger from previous employment at a Duluth car wash. The three had previously been involved in an altercation at their workplace "regarding a mutual acquaintance."
Since that time, the victim reported, the two men had been threatening to kill him via electronic messages and photos.
The Violent Crimes Unit was able to obtain video of the incident.
"The video shows the victim flying up in the air and the defendant reversing and attempting to strike him again," the complaint states. "Officers interviewed four separate witnesses to the incident who corroborate the victim as well as the video tape."
Police said Martin and his passenger both placed 911 calls about a two hours after the incident attempting to report that Martin's vehicle had been stolen. Officers responded but were unable to make contact with either man.
The following day, Martin called to report that his friend had located the vehicle. Officers responded and reported that "it was obvious ... that both had been inside of the vehicle recently." Martin was placed under arrest without incident.
Martin has numerous prior criminal convictions, including disorderly conduct, domestic assault, violating a no-contact order and driving while impaired.
Additionally, Martin pleaded guilty in April to felony charges in four separate cases: two counts of second-degree burglary, fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance and violating a no-contact order. A sentencing date had been set for June 18 — just two days after the alleged assault — but was subsequently postponed.
Martin is due back in court on Sept. 12.