NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — On Wednesday, a member of the Tennessee Board of Parole recommended 21-year-old Emani Martin remain in prison for the rest of his sentence, which is up in December 2023.
In December 2019, then 19-year-old Martin and his co-defendant, Kevin Jordan, who was also 19, led police on a chase after they tried to pull them over for illegally tinted windows and temporary tags.
The two suspects blew out their tire on I-65, and Martin ran across the interstate, attempting to escape officers.
Hendersonville police officer Spencer Bristol chased after him but was hit and killed.
Martin pleaded guilty to evading police causing Bristol’s death and was sentenced to four years. He was eligible for parole January 2021, but his hearing was canceled due to COVID-19.
After serving 20 months in prison, a parole board member said Wednesday he will recommend the board not grant him parole due to the severity of his crime and the fact that Martin was recently disciplined in prison.
During Wednesday’s hearing, Bristol’s family was in the middle of making victim impact statements when Martin interrupted them and said, “What about my family? My mom is going through stuff just like y’all [are] going through stuff.”
He continued, “Y’all want me to show emotion? I’m sorry for what I did, I regret it.”
Bristol’s father, Dan told News 2 that he believes Martin has no remorse and only thinks of himself.
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“You go into these hearings and think maybe there’s a glimmer of hope that this person will show some form of remorse, that there’s maybe a chance that this person will change their life. I didn’t see any of that today,” Bristol said.
Before the interruption, Bristol’s widow, Lauren told the parole board member how she and her young daughter have suffered since losing Bristol.
“No matter what happens, we will never have our life back, we will never get over this,” she said. “I died a little that day, and I’ll never get my old life back.”
The Tennessee Board of Parole will make an official decision on whether Martin should stay in prison within a few weeks.
However, Martin still faces a long list of charges out of Davidson County, some related to the case, including reckless homicide, and others unrelated to the case.
Martin will have a hearing on the December 2019 charges and a trial for previous, unrelated charges on September 26.
Martin’s co-defendant, Kevin Jordan was sentenced to four years in prison in relation to the case and has no other outstanding charges, according to the Tennessee Board of Parole.