First Responders

Tennessee Convict Who Pointed Pistol at Cop Hit With Max Federal Sentence

June 21, 2022Carl Prine
tennessee convict

Austin Martin, 23, has been sentenced to 120 months in federal prison for unlawful possession of a firearm tied to a 2020 crime spree in Memphis, Tennessee. Composite by Coffee or Die Magazine.

A Tennessee convict who pointed a pistol at a Memphis Police officer two years ago has been sentenced on federal firearm charges.

On Friday, June 17, in Memphis, US District Judge Thomas L. Parker sentenced Austin Martin to the maximum sentence of 10 years behind bars and three years of supervised release when he exits prison.

Martin, 23, will serve his federal time concurrently with a 20-year sentence handed down by the state of Tennessee on April 7 following two convictions for aggravated assault tied to the same crime spree, plus an unrelated arson arrest.

Parker also ordered Martin to undergo mental health and substance abuse assessments and treatment; attend anger management and vocational training classes; and participate in moral reconation therapy, which is designed to break the cycle of addiction and prevent future criminal misconduct.

Founded in 1827, the Memphis Police Department has grown to 2,081 sworn officers distributed across nine precincts in the Tennessee city and 70 specialized units and divisions. Memphis Police Department photo.

Martin’s federal woes began on May 4, 2020, when a Memphis Police officer spotted a vehicle doing doughnuts in the middle of an intersection. The driver steered toward the cop’s cruiser but crashed into a fire hydrant.

Prosecutors said five male suspects bailed from the vehicle, including Martin, who jumped from the driver’s door wearing a bright yellow vest.

He pointed a Beretta .32-caliber pistol at the uniformed officer, who also drew his weapon but didn’t fire because a bystander was behind Martin.

Martin fled but was arrested moments later, the firearm still in his pocket.

tennessee convict
Founded in 1827, the Memphis Police Department has grown to 2,081 sworn officers distributed across nine precincts in the Tennessee city and 70 specialized units and divisions, including the Harbor Patrol. Memphis Police Department photo.

Memphis Police matched Martin’s pistol to a May 2, 2020, armed robbery in Midtown that left two men shot. Both men survived and identified Martin as the gunman.

During the crime spree, Martin was on probation linked to a conviction for attempted carjacking. That conviction barred him from a lawfully possessing a firearm, and that triggered his federal prosecution.

According to Tennessee records, Martin is slated to exit the medium-security Bledsoe County Correctional Complex on Nov. 11, 2040.

Martin inked a plea deal with federal prosecutors on March 11. In exchange, federal prosecutors dropped charges for marijuana trafficking and using a firearm during a crime.

Martin’s federal criminal defense attorney did not respond to messages from Coffee or Die Magazine seeking comment.

Read Next: Feds Indict Chicago Man for Shooting Senior Inspector US Marshal and His K-9

Carl Prine
Carl Prine

Carl Prine is a former senior editor at Coffee or Die Magazine. He has worked at Navy Times, The San Diego Union-Tribune, and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He served in the Marine Corps and the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. His awards include the Joseph Galloway Award for Distinguished Reporting on the military, a first prize from Investigative Reporters & Editors, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.

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