Prior to sentencing, a Rome businessman convicted of shooting another man in 2019 spoke on his own behalf.
“This is a case of self-defense,” Quincy Fluker told Floyd County Superior Court Judge William Sparks. “I’ve never had a case where I’ve had to go to these extreme measures in my life.”
On that day in August 2019, Fluker said, he went to the home of his ex-wife, Latoya Hines, and the victim, Darrius Martin, to move a refrigerator. However, prosecutors said he then confronted Martin because he’d been talking to Fluker’s ex-wife, who paid rent and lived on the bottom floor of the home.
Regardless of the fact that Fluker had paid for the home, it wasn’t his any longer, Rome Circuit Assistant District Attorney Kevin Salmon said.
“This was a simple act of aggression because of this defendant’s anger of his ex-wife being with another man,” Salmon said. “The defendant’s need for control over his ex-wife almost cost Darrius Martin his life.”
Fluker, armed, knocked on Martin’s door saying he wanted to have a word with him. Martin answered his door with an AR-15 style rifle, Salmon told the court.
In his trial, Fluker’s attorneys argued that he acted in self defense. However, a jury convicted him on charges of home invasion and aggravated battery among others. Fluker maintained to the court that he was justified in his actions.
“The only reason Darrius got shot is because he threatened me and had the means to carry out that threat,” Fluker told the judge.
“Someone didn’t ‘get shot.’ You shot them,” Judge Sparks said. “It didn’t just happen.”
Sparks sentenced Fluker to 25 years, to serve 20 in prison, as well as a $10,000 fine and restitution in order to pay for Martin’s medical bills. The exact amount of restitution will be determined in a later hearing, but in the sentencing Salmon estimated the bills at approximately $300,000.
Prior to passing that sentence, several family members and associates took the stand to speak on Fluker’s character. They spoke of his business success; Fluker often ran ads on billboards and in the Rome News-Tribune sporting the tagline “official tax man.” He also supported several back to school initiatives in the community and recorded music videos under the name Frank Hugo.
“He’s my big brother,” Fluker’s sister Sadie Fluker told the court. “He’s inspiring me to be a better person.”
She, along with other family members and associates, said Fluker encouraged them to stay in school and galvanized them to do better with their lives. For this, they and Fluker asked the judge to consider a sentence of probation.
The case is entirely too serious to consider a light sentence, Judge Sparks said.
Martin had been shot twice in the abdomen, once with Fluker standing over him, the judge said.
He received injuries to his liver, gallbladder and colon and still has difficulty walking. Without the quick thinking of responding police, first responders and surgeons, there was a very real chance Martin would have died.
“But for the grace of God this would have been a murder case,” Sparks said.