Joshua Martin says god forgives him in killing of Sgt. Joe Bergeron
Joshua Martin is certain of two things.
Joshua Martin figures god's in his corner.
First, he knows he's going to prison for his role in killing Sgt. Joe Bergeron of the Maplewood Police Department over a screwed up dope buy and carjacking.
Second, even though the sentencing judge thinks he's an irredeemable lowlife, God's on Martin's side.
It's hard to imagine that the hundreds of cops from all over the state who showed for Bergeron's funeral feel the same way, but who knows.
We do know that Martin's road to 35 years behind bars started May 1 at a gas station on Larpenteur Avenue near I-35E with partner in crime Jason John Jones.
The two already had prior convictions, yet they figured it would be a good idea to carjack a guy trying to score some drugs.
But the plan went haywire. The guy they were holding hostage managed to escape, and a massive police manhunt got under way.
Later that day, Martin and Jones appeared out of some woods on Bruce Vento Trail, where they ran into Bergeron. Martin says Jones opened fire; Jones died later that day in a fight with another cop.
Martin fled, first to his mother's house, and then to a friend's place where he was eventually arrested.
It turns out Martin was struggling between the dark and the light. Here's a guy who on the one hand has admitted to second-degree murder, but who it turns out also gave passionate speeches supporting Teen Challenge, a faith based group that tries to keep kids out of jail.
Maybe this is what his mother was talking about when she insisted he was a "good kid" after his arrest.
District Court Judge Salvador Rosas saw things differently today. He sentenced Martin to 35 years in prison.
"I asked God for forgiveness," Martin said in court today. "I know he forgave me, and I ask the family to forgive me."