Testimony: Shooting death followed argument over juice box

Kamorion Lamar Meachem
Kamorion Lamar Meachem

NEW BOSTON, Texas -- Two assistant principals at Texas High School testified Wednesday in Bowie County's 5th District Court about a disturbance at the school the day 17-year-old Ulises Martinez was killed in a shooting on Sidney Drive.

Kamorion Lamar Meachem, 19, of Texarkana, Texas, is charged with murder in the October 25, 2021, shooting death of Martinez. Both were students at THS.

The shooting occurred during a fight about 1:45 p.m. on Sidney Drive at the Meachem home. Martinez was found dead in the street.

Assistant Principal Will Harris helped separate Martinez and Meachem after their argument earlier Oct. 25, 2021, in the cafeteria at the school, he testified. He took Martinez to a principal's office to calm down, he testified under questioning by Assistant Bowie County District Attorney Katie Carter.

Ishmael Martinez, the brother of Ulises, had been in the cafeteria and was also called into the office.

Harris testified that he did not see a reason for a disciplinary call for the Martinez brothers because they were calm when he spoke to them.

"They went with us quietly, without screaming or cursing or causing disruptions," Harris said. "He (Ulises Martinez) said it was an argument over a juice box ... it was an odd thing ... I told him to go home and cool off and return the next day," Harris said.

Two students testified that the argument erupted over a juice box.

One of the student witnesses said she put a juice on the table during lunch that day and another student drank it. She testified that Kamorion also wanted a juice so she went to another table and asked a student if she could have his juice to give to Kamorion.

The witness told Carter that Ulises and other students at the table were angry about her taking the juice.

"He (Ulises) came to our table and snatched the juice and threw it in the trash," she said.

The student who originally had the juice box testified that it was taken without his permission but that he was not angered by it.

"She took it. I looked at her and brushed it off," he testified.

Assistant Principal Julius Anderson testified that he was in the outdoor cafeteria when he was notified about a disturbance in the indoor cafeteria.

"Kamorion was really not cooperating and kept trying to get around Mr. Harris to get to the other student," Anderson said.

Anderson testified that he had known Meachem his entire four years of high school.

"We had always had a good relationship," Anderson testified.

Earlier Wednesday, Meachem's mother, Vena Meachem, testified that Kamorion had been diagnosed in the sixth grade with opposition defiant disorder, which can make him challenge authority. Anderson was the school administrator who worked the closest with Kamorion, she testified.

The incident in the lunch room was the first time Anderson had a real problem with Meachem in years, he said.

"He was fighting me the entire time," Anderson said.

He said he wanted Meachem to calm down in his office while he called his mother to take him home. He could not reach her, but Meachem contacted his brother on the phone and asked him to pick him up.

Anderson emailed Vena Meachem that Kamorion had "refused correction and had to be restrained numerous times" and as a result, he would receive three days of suspension and 60 days in alternative school.

Jonathan Matlock, who was a Texarkana Independent School District Police officer at the time of the shooting, was on lunch duty when the argument started.

"I heard a slight commotion then raised voices and profanity," he said.

Matlock was in an office with Martinez when Meachem started coming toward the office. He described Meachem as "extremely upset."

"He was quite hostile. He was determined to get into the office," Matlock said.

Spencer Price, a crime scene investigator with Texarkana Texas Police Department, testified that he found a Glock handgun in one of the bedrooms at the Meachem home. He also found ammunition in a backpack.

A shell case was found the next day in the lawn of the house across the street.

On Wednesday morning, Vena Meachem testified that she was a nurse who worked nights. She said her daughter woke her up the afternoon of the shooting and said someone had been shot in front of their house and needed CPR. She testified that she performed CPR on Martinez until first responders arrived.

Testimony continues today at the Bowie County Courthouse.

Meachem's 20-year-old brother Kieran Markel Meachem, of Texarkana, was also originally charged with murder, but the charge was dropped.

Kamorion Meachem is represented by Heath Hyde of Sulphur Springs, Texas. He remains in the Bowie County Correctional Center with bail set at $400,000. If convicted of murder, he faces five to 99 years or life in a Texas prison.

Upcoming Events