Kirkman arrested in DeWitt County murder

By Sonya Timpone

The Cuero Record

Dakota Wayne Kirkman, 19, of Yoakum, was arrested on Friday, Aug. 17 for one count of murder. He is being held at the DeWitt County Jail on a $500,000 surety bond.

Kirkman is accused in the murder of 36-year-old Yoakum resident, Manual Martinez, III, following an altercation and exchange of gunfire during the early morning hours on Friday, Aug. 17.

At 2:43 a.m. Friday morning, Aug. 17, DeWitt County dispatch received a call of a shooting at 867 Bootlegger Lane in Yoakum. 

When law enforcement made it to the location, a man was found lying in the front yard with an apparent gunshot wound. The initial investigation indicated an ongoing tension between the deceased and the alleged shooter. The murder weapon was a .22 rifle.

DeWitt County Justice of the Peace, Pct. 1, Peggy Mayer was called at 3:08 a.m. and later announced Martinez dead at the scene.

“This is a tragic loss of life, and our hearts go out to Martinez’s family,” DeWitt County Sheriff Carl Bowen said in a press release.

According to Bowen, there was an altercation and an exchange of gunfire between two men. Kirkman left the location on Bootlegger Lane with his girlfriend and ended up at their home at 32 Private Road 4006 in Hallettsville.

Kirkman was taken into custody without incident.

Cuero Police Department Tactical Response Unit, DeWitt County Sheriff’s Department, Lavaca County Sheriff’s Department, Yoakum EMS, Yoakum Police Department and Yoakum Fire Department responded to the residence on PR 4006. 

“After about 2.5 hours the suspect was taken into custody without incident,” Bowen said. “The investigation is still ongoing. Right now, we know the persons involved knew each other and there is a long history of dislike between them.”

Bowen added that alcohol is believed to have played a part in the situation.

Guns were recovered at both scenes, and an autopsy has been ordered.

“With the cooperation and quick action of our law enforcement partners, we were able to resolve this situation with no additional injuries or loss of life,” Bowen said. 

This was the second murder of 2018 in DeWitt County.

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