BACLIFF

A man who was playing with what he thought was an unloaded handgun while watching a movie shot his 18-year-old girlfriend in the head Sunday night in Bacliff, according to a probable cause affidavit released Thursday.

That news came shortly after the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office announced two arrests in connection to the incident.

Deputies arrested Orlando Martinez, 23, late Wednesday on a charge of manslaughter, officials said. Earlier that evening, Jared Michael Koehler, 25, turned himself into authorities on a charge of tampering with physical evidence, officials said.

Martinez was the boyfriend of Kaitlyn Trammell, 18, who died 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at Memorial Hermann Hospital from a gunshot wound to the head, sheriff’s office spokesman Maj. Douglas Hudson said.

Deputies responded at 6:30 p.m. Sunday to a report of a suicide in the 4700 block of Sixth Street in Bacliff, where they found Trammell bleeding from an apparent gunshot wound to the head, according to a probable cause affidavit released Thursday.

Martinez, who was also at the scene, told deputies that Trammell had accidentally shot herself in the forehead, according to the affidavit.

Deputies were unable to find the gun, which was described as a 9 mm pistol, and Martinez said that Koehler had left with it, according to the affidavit.

Martinez also said that a third person, who is unnamed because he hasn’t been charged with a crime, had also left because he was afraid, according to the affidavit.

The third person later returned and told deputies he had gotten home from work and was smoking marijuana with Koehler when Martinez came into the room and asked for the pistol, according to the affidavit.

The third person said that minutes later he and Koehler heard a gunshot and Martinez returned to say he had just shot Trammell, according to the affidavit.

The person said Martinez asked Koehler to get rid of the gun for him and Koehler left, according to the affidavit.

Martinez gave a follow-up interview to deputies later that night and told them he was watching a movie with Trammell and got the gun out for them to look at and the magazine was empty, according to the affidavit.

Martinez said he thought the gun was unloaded and had pointed the gun at Trammell while they were playing and that it had gone off and shot her in the head, according to the affidavit.

Deputies then tried calling Koehler’s phone, but he did not respond, according to the affidavit.

Deputies went to Koehler’s house and did not find him and then contacted his mother and had her call him twice, according to the affidavit.

The mother later called deputies and said she had heard back from him, according to the affidavit.

“Koehler had advised her that he did not trust the police or the government and he would not be meeting with them,” according to the affidavit.

Koehler turned himself into the Galveston County jail about 6 p.m. Wednesday on the charge of tampering with physical evidence, Hudson said. His bond is set at $25,000.

Deputies arrested Martinez at 8 p.m. Wednesday in the 2900 block of Calder Drive in League City, officials said. Martinez’s bond is set at $80,000.

A dive team found the gun in a creek Wednesday in Santa Fe, officials said.

The investigation is ongoing after the two arrests Wednesday, officials said.

Some video recording equipment was missing from the scene initially, but deputies recovered that evidence later Sunday night, Hudson said.

It was unclear Thursday why the video recording equipment is important to the case.

The sheriff’s office is asking for people with information about the incident to call 409-766-2322, Hudson said.

Matt deGrood: 409-683-5230; matt.degrood@galvnews.com

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