A Fayette County man charged with three counts of murder in a Memorial Day shooting attack in the Hico area has waived his right to a preliminary hearing that was originally scheduled for Thursday, said Fayette County Prosecuting Attorney Carl Harris.

Gary Dwayne Martin, 56, of Stringtown Road, is accused of fatally shooting Carl Blaine Cox, 24, Christopher Lee Legg, 23, and Dustin Tyler Hughes, 22, all of Hico. Martin was arrested without incident later the same day and remanded to Southern Regional Jail.

Harris explained that it is not at all unusual for a defendant to waive a preliminary hearing, also known as a probable cause hearing. Those take place before a magistrate, whereas bond is determined by a circuit judge in capital cases. Martin’s case will now go before a Fayette County grand jury in September, he added.

As of Monday, Harris noted, Martin had not asked for bond, which he must do if he wishes to schedule a bond hearing. Martin is being represented by Charleston-based attorneys Mike Clifford and Ed Rebrook, said Harris.

According to Fayette County Sheriff Bill Laird, two of the victims had been riding ATVs and a third victim was on a trail bike on Stringtown Road just before the shooting, which was reported to the Fayette County 911 Center at 1:10 p.m. May 28.

Laird said no motive for the shooting was known, but it appeared as though the victims and Martin engaged in a “verbal exchange or argument” just before the shootings.

The victims were shot with a rifle in the roadway “immediately in front of” Martin’s Stringtown Road residence, but Laird said authorities had no reason to believe the men had been on Martin’s property.

The shootings remain under investigation by Cpl. M.A. Webb of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department.

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