University Reacts to Martinez Sentencing
The University of Wyoming's Athletics Director, Tom Burman has made a statement following the guilty plea and sentencing of Luke Martinez, a former Wyoming basketball player, on charges of misdemeanor battery.
“Now that the legal process has been concluded, we are glad the incident has been resolved with a plea agreement that includes a reduced charge. Life’s lessons are difficult sometimes, and hopefully we all learned from this one. This was an unfortunate incident that resulted from poor decisions by numerous parties, and Luke is paying the price for his. The fact that Luke is a test away from graduating is a positive step for him. We hope the victim can move forward with full recovery and wish him the best as well. The university regrets deeply that the incident occurred, and that it involved UW student-athletes. It does not represent acceptable behavior.”
Martinez was a guard for the University of Wyoming Cowboy Basketball team before battery incident in December of 2012. He was then suspended, and at the time faced a felony charge of Aggravated Assault. According to court paperwork, Martinez was accused of kicking the victim, Parfait Nayigihugu, while Nayigihugu was on the ground and unconscious, outside of a Laramie bar.
The felony charges were dropped according to court paperwork filed last week. The case was refiled in Albany Circuit Court under the misdemeanor battery charge, as part of a plea agreement. An email filed, previous to the dismissal, in Albany County District Court, from Nayigihugu to Albany County Prosecuting Attorney Joshua Merseal, says that Nayigihugu didn't wish Martinez to face felony charges:
I wanted to let you know I am ready to move forward with the charge of misdemeanor battery for Lucas Martinez. I am also requesting the defendant get jail time for his offence as well as pay restitution in the amount of $58,000 for medical expenses.
I do not choose to have the defendant to have a felony on his record. This is my personal decision. I want to put this situation behind me and move on with my life as I'm sure Lucas would as well.
Martinez was named in a civil lawsuit related to the case earlier this year. Steve C.M. Aron, who represents Nayigihugu, says that lawsuit is still pending.