Martinez pleads guilty in home invasion case

By Melanie Yingst -

MIAMI COUNTY —Kristian Martinez, 23, of Phillipsburg, entered a plea of guilty to second-degree felony conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary in Miami County Common Pleas Court Friday.

As part of Martinez’s change of plea, a joint recommendation of four years in prison was submitted to the court. Martinez could be eligible for early release. Martinez also agreed to cooperate with state prosecutors and testify against co-defendants in the case. The agreement also dismissed a charge of first degree aggravated burglary.

Martinez could face two to eight years and a $15,000 fine. He was ordered to complete a pre-sentence investigation. He will be sentenced on May 2 with Judge Jeannine Pratt presiding. Martinez was released on his own recognizance.

Martinez was one of multiple suspects reportedly involved in the armed robbery of a Union Township home on Sept. 30. During the home invasion on Sept. 30, co-defendant Keason Twitty was shot by the homeowner outside of the home on North Montgomery County Line Road. The homeowner called 911 and said a group of men kicked in the door of his house and shot at him. It is believed the home was targeted for narcotics. The homeowner told deputies he got his own gun and fired back, hitting Twitty in the leg. Twitty was transported by Careflight for treatment of his injuries.

After being arraigned in December, Twitty was released on his own recognizance and ordered to have no contact with the victim or co-defendants in the case.

According to Major Steve Lord, Martinez was the driver of the getaway vehicle in the incident.

Co-defendant James Benton, 25, remains incarcerated in Miami County Jail. A jury trial is set for March 28.

Eric Santos, 31, also remains in jail on a felony first-degree aggravated burglary charge. A motion to continue the trial was filed on March 16.

Keason A. Twitty, 18, of Dayton, was scheduled to be sentenced for first-degree felony aggravated burglary with a three-year firearm specification, first-degree felony conspiracy to commit burglary, and second-degree felonious assault after filing a guilty plea earlier this year. Twitty will now be sentenced on April 17.

By Melanie Yingst