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Bloomington man ruled fit to stand trial as he fires another attorney in sexual assault, child porn case

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Jeffrey Martin’s practice of hiring and firing his lawyers continued on Friday as a Chicago attorney was allowed to sever ties with the case, leaving Martin to serve as his own lawyer on sexual assault and child pornography charges pending since 2016.

Judge William Yoder also found the 57-year-old Bloomington man mentally fit to stand trial, a determination Martin’s lawyer Gigi Gilbert took issue with at a hearing in June. Gibert said she had a “bona fide doubt” about Martin’s fitness, referring in her comment to an opposing opinion submitted to the court by psychiatrist, Dr. Terry Killian.

In July, Yoder delayed a determination of Martin’s fitness after Martin was removed from the courtroom when he repeatedly interrupted the judge. Verbal tussles with judges and a revolving door of legal counsel is nothing new for Martin. At least three private lawyers and multiple public defenders have come and gone since charges were filed more than six years ago. When he was without an attorney, Martin acted as his own lawyer.

On Friday, Yoder told Martin numerous times to stop talking during the hearing. Before leaving the courtroom, Martin commented, “I’ve got over $60,000 in this case.”

Yoder set a Nov. 14 trial on the child porn case.

The charges against Martin date back to 2014 when he was hired by a Normal woman to work on a computer at her home. She allowed Martin to stay with her. The woman, now 86, later told police she was repeatedly sexually assaulted, threatened, and beaten by Martin. The child pornography charges are related to images found on a computer that police seized from the woman’s home after Martin’s arrest.

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Edith began her career as a reporter with The DeWitt County Observer, a weekly newspaper in Clinton. From 2007 to June 2019, Edith covered crime and legal issues for The Pantagraph, a daily newspaper in Bloomington, Illinois. She previously worked as a correspondent for The Pantagraph covering courts and local government issues in central Illinois.
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