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Testimony continues on 3rd day of trial in murder of Zachary Shrout

KINGWOOD — The Martinez trial entered its third day Tuesday with testimony from Danny Trejo, a Morgantown social worker and court translator who was asked by the prosecution to translate a message that Luis Martinez-Otero sent to his son, along with photos of a Taurus G2C 9mm gun.

Martinez is charged with the May 2022 shooting of Zachary Alan Shrout at his home on Veterans Memorial Highway in Terra Alta.

Trejo told Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Megan Fields the message indicated Martinez-Otero bought “it” along with two clips and a box of bullets for $300.

Daniel Grimm was living in Shrout’s house when Shrout was killed by a bullet that came through a bay window. He remained living in the house but was evicted two months after Shrout’s death.

“I’ve been in rehab in Virginia since Sept. 26. I’ve been clean for 15 months,” Grimm said from the stand Tuesday. “I was convicted for meth and sentenced to 1-5 years. I paroled out and rehab was my own plan.”

Grimm said he had been living with Shrout for four months when Shrout was killed. He said he and Shrout were in the basement “tinkering” on a go-kart.

“He said Louis called him and said he was going to beat his ass,” Grimm said, “He (Shrout) brushed the call off. I went upstairs to get wire for the go-kart from my room. I caught a glimpse of a movement on the monitor (hooked to an outside camera) and looked up and saw a maroon truck pull in. It was Louis’ truck, I could see the whole driver side and camper top.”

Grimm said he stood up and went to the bathroom. He said before he could get out he heard seven to 10 shots. He said he went looking for Shrout, and went down the basement steps and called for Shrout but got no answer. He said when he found Shrout he was sitting down, slumped over, but breathing.

“I saw a pool of blood. I pulled my phone out and called 911. I waited for the ambulance but they stopped at the bottom of the hill to wait for the cops to get there,” Grimm said. “I heard Louis leave the driveway and went toward town. I was frustrated because it took so long for the police and the EMTs to come into the house.”

Shane Jones testified that he too was currently in rehab and has been clean for 18 months. He said he was arrested for fleeing from an officer, destruction of property and grand larceny by fraudulent scheme. He said as part of his plea agreement he agreed to testify truthfully.

He said he and Shrout were friends and did drugs together. One day he got a ride to Shrout’s house.

“When we got there, I saw Louis and Zack pushing each other around. Louis said ‘quit giving her (Heidi Falkner) that stuff and quit selling it to her or I will kill you.’”

Jones said Shrout asked for help getting a gun. He said he didn’t get a gun, instead he gave Shrout a compound bow and three arrows.

“When I was at the regional jail I saw Martinez. He started talking to me.

He said ‘they are accusing me of killing Zack,’” Jones said. “He said he was going to beat the case and that the state will never find the gun. He never came out and said he killed Zack.” West Virginia State Police Trooper J. Nuse testified that when he arrived at the scene, Grimm told him he was there when the
shooting occurred. Grimm said Shrout was shot by Martinez.