CROWN POINT — A key witness in the state's case against a 17-year-old girl recently sentenced for her mother's brutal stabbing death in 2017 learned his own fate Tuesday: time served.
Matthew Martin, 18, of Gary, pleaded guilty in December, telling police he and Virgil King, 19, met Chastinea Reeves at the Oak Knoll Apartments after she killed her mother, drove off together in her mother's car and helped Reeves hide the murder weapon.
Martin told police he kicked in a door to an abandoned building in the 2000 block of Delaware Street in Gary and tossed the knife inside. Police later recovered the knife, according to court records.
Reeve's mother, Jamie M. Garnett, 34, was found stabbed to death Feb. 13, 2017, in the family's home in the 4400 block of West 23rd Place.
Reeves was sentenced last week to 45 years in prison for stabbing, cutting and chopping her mother more than 60 times. Reeves was just 15 years old at the time of the murder.
Like Martin, King — Reeves' boyfriend at the time — was charged with felony counts of assisting a criminal and auto theft.
King's attorney, Cipriano Rodriguez, said in court Monday that King had reached a non-trial resolution with prosecutors that still must be put in writing. King's next hearing was set for July 8.
Martin pleaded guilty to felony assisting a criminal, along with a felony battery charge in a separate case. He had been facing sentences of one to six years and 0.5 to 2.5 years in prison on each count, to be served consecutively.
Defense attorney Kerry Connor told Lake Criminal Court Judge Clarence Murray on Tuesday she and Lake County Deputy Prosecutor Keith Anderson were jointly recommending Martin be sentenced to time served.
With good time, Martin was to receive credit for a total of 630 days in jail, she said.
"We all recognize that Matthew is quite young," Connor said.
Martin has pursued a GED while incarcerated and plans to move out of the area upon his release, she said.
Martin said he's grown up since he was first arrested in November 2017.
"I was only 16 when I caught my friend's charge," he said. "I didn't know. I've grown. I've changed things around."
Murray sentenced Martin in accordance with the plea agreement and said he would be released Tuesday, unless he had any pending holds or warrants.