Sebrina Martin says her ex-husband manipulated children into making false claims

Sebrina Martin, the Democratic candidate for a family court judgeship in Montgomery, posted a video statement on social media on Friday defending herself in response to a APR article last week detailing how she lost custody of six children in 2013 due to “excessive corporal punishment”.

“You’ve read the article, you’ve seen what was said, but you haven’t seen the Montgomery Police Department’s investigation that says no foul play took place, and you don’t haven’t seen the investigation report from the human resources department that says there was no abuse,” Martin said.

Martin pointed out that his side of the story was untold, saying readers immediately believed the allegations “without a single comment from me.”

APR made several attempts to contact Martin prior to publication of the original article, including voicemails on Martin’s personal cell phone and at his Montgomery Divorce Law office. Emails were also sent to campaign email and Martin’s attorney and received no response for more than 24 hours before the article was published.

“These statements made in the article are false,” Martin said. “After years of abuse and manipulation, I divorced (Michael Martin). My ex-husband told me when I divorced that he would do anything he could to destroy me, and he almost did it when he manipulated my kids into turning on me Because when we went to court no one cared about the police reports or the DHR investigation that said he didn’t “There was no abuse or neglect, no one cared what my witnesses had to say. Once the kids said what they had conspired to, it was over. The trial judge Indiana instance immediately believed the children… The children had been armed and trained to spew hate and attack me in front of anyone who would listen, and they still do so today.

The 2013 court document emphasizes the children’s testimony, which is sealed, but does not rely entirely on it. The order refers to the bruising of Jonathan, who would have been around 10 years old at the time. According to the order, those bruises were caused by Jesse Heifner, Martin’s boyfriend at the time, and now her husband and partner in his law firm.

jonathan said APR that Heifner would often discipline him with a belt, while Martin encouraged him.

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“He would hit me with all his might, man,” Jonathan said. “It was almost like he was trying to take out the aggression, not necessarily for what I did… (Sebrina) would say, like, ‘Whoop his ass.’ Sebrina was the one in control.

Vanderburgh Superior Court Judge Robert A. Tomatta wrote in the order that the bruises were “evidence of a pattern of domestic violence.”

The summary of the court case also shows that the judge ordered the Warrick County Department of Children’s Services to provide “all documents and records requested in the subpoena.” However, the judge ordered that the documents “not be made available to the public in any way”.

According to Vanderburgh Superior Court, the record of the hearing no longer exists, as civil case records only need to be kept for three years. However, Michael and Jasmine Martin spoke of an audio recording of Heifner inflicting corporal punishment on Jonathan, which they said was important evidence.

Jonathan said on Friday that he “100% supports” his previous statements.

“I don’t have a dog in this fight anymore,” Jonathan said. “I just don’t think she’s fit to judge anyone after the trauma she’s already put so many children through.”

In addition to the allegations contained in the document, APR also revealed that Martin’s declaration of economic interest indicated that she had no living adult children, although she had two biological children and two adopted children all aged 21 or over.

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Martin says in the video that this was a mistake which she has since corrected.

“I have a lot of people on this campaign who have helped me, and I haven’t personally reviewed what’s been filed on this. I fixed that,” Martin said. “I take full responsibility for this error.”

The article noted the discrepancy over a declaration of economic interest filed on December 8, 2021.

At the end of the form, the filing asks if the SEI filer completed this form for themselves. It is answered “yes”.

APR has also since become aware of two additional SEI filings for Martin, one filed on January 21, 2021 and the other filed on April 23, 2020. Neither identify the existence of living adult children .

Sebrina Martin said the 2013 custody incident made her more experienced and understanding of family court matters.

“My family law background is a real experience,” Martin said. “You don’t know what it’s like to go through a divorce until you get divorced…what it’s like to adopt a child until you adopt one…to lose custody of a child until you lose one.

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“I learned hard lessons in my life through this loss. I never claim to be perfect and I don’t have a cookie-cutter family. But divorce court is not a place full of perfect people or perfect families, and family law – we deal with the messy, the broken, the imperfect, the emotional, and the defeated We do our best for the kids, and the best option isn’t always this than you think it should be.

Sebrina apologized to supporters for not speaking out sooner in response to the article.

“I had to relive some of the worst days of my life, I was unprepared for the level of hate spewed in the article,” Martin said. “To those who called me evil and a witch, I just pray that nothing like what happened to me ever happens to you.”

At press time, Martin remains the Democratic nominee for judge.

But Chris England, chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party, said the election was contested and is under investigation.

“I have appointed a subcommittee to hear this contest, which will be conducted in accordance with Alabama law and party bylaws,” England said.

Martin faces no Republican challengers if she remains on the ballot for the November general election.

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