Charges filed in armed domestic-violence case

The King County Prosecutor’s Office filed a second-degree assault charge Oct. 1 in King County Superior Court against a Kent man who allegedly made threats Sept. 27 to shoot his girlfriend at his West Hill home.

The King County Prosecutor’s Office filed a second-degree assault charge Oct. 1 in King County Superior Court against a Kent man who allegedly made threats Sept. 27 to shoot his girlfriend at his West Hill home.

Travis Martin, 42, gave himself up to police after the Valley SWAT team surrounded his home that day for about an hour after his threat. He reportedly had in his possession a 9 mm Sig Sauer pistol.

Prosecutors also charged Martin with first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm because of previous convictions for vehicular assault and second-degree assault.

The incident started at about 3:15 a.m. at his home in the 26500 block of Princeton Avenue, said Paul Petersen, spokesman for the Kent Police.

Martin’s girlfriend, a 44-year-old Kent woman, called 911 to report Martin had pointed a handgun at her and threatened to shoot her, Petersen said.

The girlfriend called police as she fled the house. She hid outside the home until police arrived.

Martin stayed inside the home. Arriving officers called the phone inside the house numerous times, but he didn’t answer.

Kent Police opted to call in the Valley SWAT team when Martin did not come out of the home.

The SWAT team arrived at about 5:30 a.m., parked an armored car in front of the house and surrounded the home with officers. They used a bullhorn to tell Martin to come out of the house.

When Martin remained inside, the SWAT team decided at about 6:25 a.m. to set off in the front yard two noise flash diversionary devices, known as flash bangs, in an effort to draw him out of the home.

“It’s a very, very large firecracker. It makes a huge noise and a bright flash,” Petersen said of the device.

Martin walked out of the house about five minutes after the devices were set off.

Officers searched the home and found the handgun.

Officers talked to neighbors during the incident and gave them the choice of whether to stay in their homes or to leave the neighborhood.

As of last week, Martin remained in custody in the city jail in lieu of $100,000 bail. Prosecutors have requested that bail be increased to $1 million based on the extreme danger presented to his girlfriend and the community.

If convicted of second-degree assault, Martin might be eligible for the state’s third-strike law that requires a life sentence for three felony convictions of certain crimes.

According to charging papers, Martin has convictions for vehicular assault in 1991 and second-degree assault in 1993. Both crimes are part of the three-strike law. He also has convictions for second-degree burglary (1985), second-degree attempted burglary (1985), fourth-degree assault (1995 and 2005), first-degree escape (1987) and more than 25 misdemeanors.

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