$1M bail each for brothers accused of October killing; drugs, cash found in victim's home – Journal Times

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RACINE — The man who was fatally shot in his own home last fall may have been involved in a shootout with the suspects prior to his death.
C. Martinez
Jonathan M. Martinez, 25, and his brother Christopher A. Martinez, 23, both of Illinois, were arrested last week and formally charged Monday for the Oct. 4, death of James Hamilton, who was 31 when he was fatally shot in his home on Monroe Avenue. He died the following day, according to his obituary.
Christopher and Jonathan Martinez have been charged with first-degree intentional homicide with use of a dangerous weapon and attempted armed robbery with use of force, with both charges including “as a party to a crime” modifier.
Bail for each of the brothers is set at $1 million.
Moises Gonzalez, 28, also was arrested in connection to the crime but there was no criminal complaint filed against him as of Monday afternoon. He is in custody at the Racine County Jail, but as of Monday was not listed as a co-defendant in the homicide case.
No motive for the shooting was released, although drugs may have been a factor. According to the criminal complaint, text messages exchanged between Christopher Martinez and Hamilton “were consistent with drug dealing.”
Inside Hamilton’s home, $125,041 in cash and several pounds of drugs worth thousands of dollars were found, police said.
The Racine Police Department was dispatched to 1000 block of Monroe Avenue at 10:04 p.m. on Oct. 4 on the report of suspicious circumstances and a possible home invasion.
Inside the residence, officers found Hamilton deceased from multiple gunshot wounds.
According to the criminal complaint, there were multiple weapons inside the residence, including a Smith & Wesson .357 revolver with three rounds fired and blood on the handgrip.
Additionally, there was an “AR-15-style rifle,” 9mm casings near the victim, a .22 caliber casing in the living room, and bullet holes in the doors and furniture.
In addition, officers located $125,041 in cash, with approximately $107,530 of the cash found in a Louis Vuitton bag.
More than $6,400 in blood-soaked bills was found on the floor.
More than 7.5 pounds of drugs — marijuana, mushrooms, heroin and LSD — were also found.
Investigators were able to view surveillance video from the neighborhood.
According to the criminal complaint, surveillance video showed a red truck parked in the neighborhood for about one hour prior to the killing. At about 9:45 p.m. two people exited the truck and made their way toward Hamilton’s house.
Two minutes later, the men could be seen running from the house.
Investigators were able to trace the truck to the Martinez brothers. Further, data from Christopher Martinez’s cellphone puts him in the immediate area the night of the homicide; pings off of cellphone towers showed the phones traveled from Illinois to Wisconsin and back again.
Information obtained from the Illinois Tollway indicated Jonathan Martinez was the primary driver of the red truck.
Online court records indicate that both of Martinez brothers are being held in Lake County Jail in Illinois. They face life in prison if convicted of the homicide charges.
This gun barrel is in the process of being transformed into a combination hand spade and rake. The metal is repeatedly heated, split and pounded. 
The park shelter at Wexford Park on Madison’s Far West Side served as the site of Jeff Wild’s protest against gun violence. He lives in the neighborhood and brought along a forge, anvil and steel hammer to show how he turns guns into garden tools.
Jeff Wild, a retired Lutheran minister, explains how he uses a propane-fueled forge to heat gun barrels to transform the metal into garden tools. Wild was at Wexford Park on Madison’s Far West Side last weekend to speak about gun violence and his efforts to bring attention to the issue.
Jeff Wild uses a hammer and a 75-pound anvil to form a gun barrel into a garden tool during a demonstration at Wexford Park last weekend.
Jeff Wild’s tools include a 75 pound anvil and a heavy steel hammer.
Jeff Wild, a retired Lutheran minister, takes a Biblical approach to his messages about gun violence.
Some of the tools that Jeff Wild has made from discarded guns.
Some of the garden tools that Jeff Wild has made from discarded guns.
A gun barrel that’s being transformed into a garden tool cools in a bucket last weekend during a demonstration at Wexford Park.
Jeff Wild uses a battery-powered grinder to cut slits into part of a flattened piece of a gun barrel in an attempt to make a combination fork and hand spade. Wild has been using a forge for more than two years but is now using his talents to protest gun violence.
Jeff Wild heats a gun barrel so the metal can be bent and formed.
A bucket of water is used to cool the heated gun barrel that is being turned into a garden tool.
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DEE HÖLZEL dee.holzel@journaltimes.com
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C. Martinez
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