Chadron’s first murder trial in 13 years is scheduled to wrap up today and Dawes County Attorney Vance Haug, sitting second-chair to Assistant Attorney General Doug Warner, says it’s still on pace despite the prosecution still presenting its case.
20-year old Ian “Sage” Little Moon is charged with 1st-degree murder and felony use of a deadly weapon in the death of 72-year old John “JD” Martinez, and yesterday saw the jury watch video of Little Moon’s first two interviews with law enforcement.
Martinez, the live-in significant other of Little Moon’s older sister Reva and father of two of her children, was shot and killed in their home about 2 am on July 23, 2021.
In the videos, Little Moon said he didn’t remember loading the rifle he kept in his brother Sylas’s room in their sister’s home but did remember going down to the basement bedroom where Martinez was.
He said his head was “fuzzy” and that while he remembered firing, dropping the gun and leaving, he didn’t understand why he shot Martinez and didn’t even as he did it.
Asked about his sister’s relationship with Martinez, Little Moon described it as “pretty rocky” and said they were preparing to split with his sister already beginning to pack. He also said he didn’t like the way Martinez was treating her.
Also testifying in the morning was pathologist Dr Peter Schilke, who performed the autopsy on Martinez. Schilke said stippling – the presence of unburned gunpowder – indicated Martinez was shot from fairly close but more than 2-feet away.
The afternoon included testimony by a CAPstone case worker about her interviews with Reva Little Moon’s 2 children by Martinez, who were in the home when he was killed.
There was also a detailed explanation from the NSP Crime lab on DNA and blood evidence from the crime scene, Little Moon’s clothing, and his mother’s van – which he stole to flee Chadron after the shooting.
The trial resumes this morning at 8:30.