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Murder Kills More Than Victim Pt. 1

As I stood in the hall in front of my wife, the phone began to ring. Looking at the face of the phone, my wife identified the caller as Baptist Hospital East. An hour or so previous to this call, my wife informed me that Sammy, her uncle, had been shot in his store and her mother was called to Baptist East to be with her aunt as Sammy was to arrive.
“Why would they send Sammy from Owensboro to Baptist East?” I asked her. “The trauma hospital closest to Owensboro would be University.”
She did not know. With this phone call, I assumed we would find out.
Thrusting the phone into my chest, my wife stated that she could not handle the call. Her father had passed away on this date years ago, and now, his brother was shot. She did not know what could or would become of this, but she knew that she could not take this call.
“Hello”, I greeted the caller.
“Champ, this is Cheryl”, (I guess my mother-in-law did not think that I would recognize her voice), “Tell Jennifer to not come down here. Sammy is not here. He is gone.”
“He’s dead, isn’t he?” my wife asked. Starting to cry, she covered her mouth with her hands. “He’s dead isn’t he?”
Ignoring her, I got collected all the information that I needed at that time and hung up. Quickly I looked down at the carpeted floor and prayed for strength and wisdom, as I had to tell my wife that her uncle had been murdered. Lifting my head, and my arms I quietly said, “I’m sorry”.
Screaming and bursting forth with velocity of tears I had never seen before, my wife fell crumpled on the floor. My two boys, ages five and six at the time, came running out of the room, asking what was wrong with Mama. After quickly getting them back in their room, I held my wife and listened to the questions that I discovered were all to familiar to those who are close to murder cases.
“Why? How? Who? When? Did he kill himself? Was he in pain for long? Did he suffer? Do they have the murderers?” All questions that I could not answer, and that I had myself.

Samuel E. Garrett was born in Glasgow and spent much of his childhood there. He was a sprite young man and was filled with life. He would wind up in Louisville, Kentucky with all of his family, but interesting enough, he would be leaving his family and learning some of life’s toughest lessons; not in college, but in Vietnam.
Sammy served as a medic in Vietnam. Though he often would not discuss the war, anyone that visited his house in southern Louisville knew that he was proud to serve in the U.S. Army.
After returning from the war, he got married, had a child, and enjoyed employment at General Electric. He worked there many years as his wife worked as a nurse at Baptist Hospital East in St. Matthews. After many years at General Electric, Sammy decided to leave General Electric to start a shop of his own.
He studied jewelry and coins. He had a “treasure chest” of jewelry, and collectibles. He was a regular at the flea markets on the University of Louisville campus at the first of each month. He would travel to various shows in neighboring states, and he owned his shop, the “Jewelry Chest” in Owensboro.
Life as a business owner was not always easy for Sammy. One time in St, Louis, Missouri his truck was broken into and his tires were flattened. Thieves stole much jewelry that was in the trailer that he was towing at a motel that he was staying at while attending a show. He had accumulated various debts attempting to keep the shop open during the hard months. To assist in saving money on travel, Sammy would often attend church and sleep in Owensboro in a small room at the back of his shop. With all the various hardships of business ownership, Sammy did enjoy what he was doing, and he did it well.
Life can, and does often change in a moment. For Sammy, and the many that loved him, that moment occurred with a bang, at his shop in Owensboro, after a great fight.

Leonel Martinez was a man that had traveled throughout the country, residing in cities in Texas, later in Nashville, and then in Owensboro. He was a native of Honduras, and had many connections throughout the Hispanic community. His connections were so great that he began a “taxi” service that was primarily focused on his Hispanic clientele. His wife, Crystal, would often be a great source of encouragement to him.
Leonel was very familiar with Owensboro and the area around it. He knew his way around, and he knew many individuals in the Hispanic community. He was, at the first appearance, an honest working man, and a father. That was what he portrayed. That was also a grand façade.
One of the men that Leonel knew was Johnny Gama Gama. They knew each other well. Gama was an interesting individual, and he, of course, had many connections to individuals throughout the Nashville area, where he lived. Miguel Velazquez, and Cruz were known by Gama, and it was Johnny that introduced them to Leonel Martinez one evening in Owensboro. That meeting would be one that would prove disastrous to Sammy Garrett, his employee Lisa, and those that loved him.

August 3, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , ,

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