Donen Martin

Donen Martin

MAMMOTH — An evening of fighting and drinking landed one Pinal County brother in a medical helicopter and another in jail.

On Feb. 6, Pinal County Sheriff's deputies responded to a house in the 17100 block of Inspiration Avenue in Mammoth about 7:45 p.m. for a domestic violence call.

A deputy wrote in a probable cause statement that he went into a trailer in the driveway of the residence and found Michael Martin “kneeling on the floor of the trailer with a laceration, approximately three to four inches long. Along the left side of his head. I observed a large amount of blood coming from his head, as well as on the floor of the trailer. Michael was going in and out of consciousness while deputies provided first aid.”

The father of the victim told deputies that his other son, “Donen Martin, 23, had struck his brother Michael in the head with a rock before fleeing the scene. I began to check the area for Donen with negative contact,” the deputy wrote.

Suddenly, the suspect appeared.

“Deputies on the scene stated they observed Donen had returned into the trailer and were standing by for assistance to make contact with him,” the deputy wrote in the report.

Sheriff's deputies told him to get on the ground, which he did, and they arrested him. He allegedly said repeatedly, “I was defending myself,” according to court records.

Donen Martin was reported by deputies to say, “He hit me first and it was self-defense.”

Michael Martin was transported by helicopter to Banner-University Medical Center Tucson, according to police records.

The father told investigators that he was sitting in the trailer when Michael came in bleeding from his head. The father said Michael told him that Donen had hit him with a rock.

Donen Martin was transported to the PCSO substation in Oracle and advised of his Miranda rights at 10:10 p.m.

He was willing to speak with deputies and allegedly said, “He had been arguing earlier in the day with his brother Michael. Donen stated that the argument turned into a physical fight and Michael punched him in the face approximately two times, causing his nose to bleed and his left eye to turn discolored.”

He said that he and Michael made up, “and they agreed to walk to the store to purchase alcohol before returning to the house.”

He told investigators that once they returned to the residence the argument started again and turned physical.

“Donen stated he punched his brother in the head after Michael struck him and said, 'he punched me first. I hit him back and I hit him too hard.' Donen denied using a rock or any other blunt instrument and stated he had caused the laceration to his brother's head by using his fist or elbow,” the deputy wrote in the probable cause statement.

Donen also told investigators that he thought his brother may have injured his head while falling to the ground during the fight.

Donen Martin was booked into the Pinal County Adult Detention Center on charges of domestic violence aggravated assault, domestic violence assault, disorderly conduct and endangerment.

Those charges were later amended when he was charged by the County Attorney's Office to one count of aggravated assault.

Donen Martin was released from the county jail on his own recognizance and he listed his address as “homeless” on the jail booking form. He is scheduled to appear in Superior Court on Feb. 25 for a preliminary hearing.


Jim Headley is a reporter covering breaking news, crime and justice around Pinal County. He can be reached at