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Covington Man Convicted for Role in Shooting that Injured Newport Woman

A Covington man was convicted for his role in a 2017 shooting that injured a Newport woman.
 
A Kenton County jury recommended a 20-year prison sentence for Martin Stieritz, Jr. who was convicted of complicity to attempted murder, complicity to second degree assault, and tampering with evidence.
 
On April 10, 2017, Covington Police responded to 15th and Russell streets following a report of shots fired. Witnesses reported that a man hanging out of a window of a red Honda Accord fired multiple rounds at a dark Kia SUV when the two vehicles stopped at stop signs on Russell Street heading south.
 
Both vehicles fled the scene.
 
Police recovered nine shell casings at the scene.
 
Later, police were dispatched to Dixie Chili on Madison Avenue where a woman was suffering from a gunshot wound to the arm. Police determined that the victim's injuries were related to the shooting on Russell St. Police found the Kia with bullet holes and the woman, who was identified as the driver, was taken by ambulance to University of Cincinnati Medical Center to be treated for the wound to her arm.
 
Investigators interviewed a male passenger in the Kia and determined that he was uncooperative. An anonymous call came in identifying the shooter in the red Honda as Coleman Lane. Police later determined that caller was an acquaintance of the uncooperative man from the Honda who had instructed his friend to call police and report Lane.
 
Covington Police Crime Bureau detectives responded a house on Monroe Street looking for Lane. While they did not locate him, the detectives found a man who was in the backseat of the red car from which the shots were fired. The man confirmed Lane was the shooter and identified Martin Stieritz, Jr. as the driver of the red Honda. The man also told detectives that Stieritz provided Lane with the gun used in the shooting and where he hid the gun after the fact.
 
Covington Police Detective Austin Ross obtained a search warrant for a garage near West 21st Street in Covington. Detectives located a 9mm handgun hidden inside a black backpack. Testing by the Kentucky State Police Crime Lab matched the gun to the shell casings recovered from the scene and a projectile recovered from the victim's vehicle.
 
On a hunch, detectives then went to a nearby residence owned by Stieritz's family where they found him hiding out with his girlfriend.
 
Stieritz was taken in for questioning by Bradbury.
 
Eventually Stieritz admitted his role in the shooting, police said. He told the detective that Lane argued with a man that he had a prior fight with when the two crossed paths in a gas station. Lane told Stieritz to follow the car that the man left in. Stieritz also admitted to giving Lane a handgun, knowing Lane intended to shoot at the man's vehicle, and then fleeing the scene after the shooting.
 
The case was delayed numerous times for multiple reasons, including but not limited to, Stieritz testing positive for COVID-19 the day before the last trial date.
 
On October 20, the case was finally called for trial before Kenton Circuit Judge Kathleen Lape.
 
Commonwealth's Attorney Rob Sanders and Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Noel Hudson presented the evidence and testimony on behalf of the Commonwealth.
 
The jury began deliberations at 3:15 p.m. on Friday, October 22 but was unable the reach a verdict before the court recessed late Friday evening. The jury reconvened on Tuesday and requested to watch a recording of the defendant testifying on his own behalf.
 
After another hour of deliberations, the jury returned guilty verdicts on all charges. Stieritz, who had been out of jail on bond, was taken into custody.
 
"Justice was delayed but fortunately is was not denied," Sanders said. "We don't forget about criminals just because cases grow old."
 
Sanders said the jury never got to hear the reason for the initial dispute but police believe it involved Lane being robbed of marijuana months prior.
 
"Martin Stieritz wasn't involved in the initial beef and he should have kept it that way," said Sanders. "But for Martin Stieritz, this shooting never takes place. Because Coleman Lane didn't have a car, or a gun, or any bullets."
 
Stieritz will appear again before Judge Lape for formal, final sentencing in January. Coleman Lane pleaded guilty in 2017 and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
 
-Staff report