TAMPA, Fla — The family of a Navy seal who was shot to death outside a Soho Restaurant in Tampa almost six years ago is sending a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis asking that the case be assigned to a new prosecutor.
“We have evidence that is undeniable,” said Hanah Fager, “And it deserves to be heard.”
Fager is the surviving sister of former Navy Seal Timothy Martin. She wants a jury to weigh the evidence in her brother’s death.
Martin was shot and killed in November of 2015 during an argument at the Soho Backyard bar and grill.
“We are asking Gov. DeSantis to reassign this case,” said Travis Horn, a local Veteran Advocate who is helping Fager.
Horn is sending a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis and copy to Attorney General Ashley Moody asking for a new prosecutor in another district.
“We believe that the original investigation failed on a number of levels,” said Horn. “And we want to put that in writing and issued this statement to the governor’s office.”
Tampa police, as well as Hillsborough’s former and now current state attorney, Andrew Warren, have all declined to file charges citing Florida’s stand your ground law.
A statement from Warren’s office said, “The family is not the only one frustrated. We see cases like this far too frequently—where we are legally unable to prosecute violent and questionable conduct because of Stand Your Ground—and like so many others in the same situation, we are extremely frustrated that this misguided law obstructs our pursuit of justice.”
Investigators say the restaurant’s co-owner, Jeffrey Glenn killed Martin after an argument over a former girlfriend. Martin, they say, had sent threatening text messages.
“In the same context, if you read his text message thread, he says I’m just venting,” said Horn. “You know - I would never hurt anyone.”
Fager is also now suing in civil court.
In a key ruling, the judge in that case recently decided against a Stand Your Ground defense.
Although the burden of proof is higher in criminal court, Fager thinks it’s yet another reason for another look at her brother’s case.
“I really hope that the governor would be able to notice the facts,” said Fager. “That there is information out that there is a ruling from a judge.”
We asked Soho Backyard if they had anything to say about the letter now being sent to Gov. DeSantis, but were told they, nor their attorneys, would have any comment.
Fager’s civil trial is set for August 16.
At a pre-trial hearing Thursday, the defense is expected to ask the judge for a gag order.
If granted it could end Fager’s public campaign on her brother’s behalf.
“I’ll be devastated,” she said. “I feel it’s my right to speak for my brother - who never got a chance to speak for himself.”