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Lexington homicide victim’s mother asks for symbolic prison sentence at killer’s hearing

A Lexington man charged in a shooting that left his 27-year-old “best friend” dead has pleaded guilty to reduced charges.

Codie Calderon, 30, of Lexington, was sentenced by Judge Lucy VanMeter to 13 years in prison Thursday for second-degree manslaughter, wanton endangerment, fleeing police and being a persistent felony offender.

Calderon originally faced charges of murder, wanton endangerment, fleeing police, leaving the scene of an accident/failure to render aid or assistance, driving without an operator’s license, having expired registration plates, failing to produce an insurance card and being a persistent felony offender.

He pleaded guilty April 3 as part of a plea deal which dismissed four of the charges and amended two others.

The shooting left Cameron Martin, 27, dead after a late-night argument on Ohio Street in August 2021.

There were multiple shell casings found next to Martin’s body. He was found was lying in the road with multiple gunshot wounds to the chest, according to court documents.

Eyewitness accounts and numerous tips to Lexington police helped identify Calderon as the shooter. Court records show officers found Calderon in a 2003 gold GMC Yukon SUV in September 2021. When officers attempted to initiate a traffic stop, Calderon fled.

Calderon is accused of driving through more than a dozen “red lights/stop signs,” weaving through traffic and darting through a parking lot where pedestrians were, according to court documents.

The vehicle chase ended when Calderon wrecked with another vehicle on Fifth Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard, police said. Calderon then fled on foot but was apprehended shortly afterward in the 200 block of Fifth Street.

Police say Calderon didn’t have a driver’s license or insurance and the vehicle registration was canceled, court records show.

At the sentencing Thursday afternoon, the victim’s mother, Angela Martin, asked that Calderon serve 13 years — the same amount of time he knew her son.

She said Calderon, who had a “big megawatt smile,” was like a son to her and was even in her wedding.

“It’s hard to believe this is where we ended up, even with everything that went on,” Martin said. “... I don’t hate you because it is hard to hate someone you have loved as your own.”

Martin thanked Calderon for not putting the family through a trial.

“We just want an opportunity to breathe and to heal from all of this,” she said.

Jacob Martin, the victim’s young brother, said he felt hatred for Calderon.

“You killed my brother over something stupid,” he said. “I don’t know what it was, but there was no reason to shoot him.”

Calderon also spoke at the sentencing, saying he was not the aggressor the night of the shooting.

“I am sorry for the situation and how it happened, because he was my best friend,” Calderon said. “But he jumped on me that night. ... Every action comes with a reaction, and his action was my reaction.”

Reporter Chris Leach contributed to this story.