Accused shooter says officer shot himself - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Accused shooter says officer shot himself

(WMC-TV) - The Memphis mom accused of shooting Memphis police officer Norman Benjamin was arraigned Tuesday morning. Martha Mote is charged with attempted second degree murder in the case.

But outside court, one of Mote's relatives claimed she didn't shoot Benjamin in a domestic dispute and should not be behind bars.

During the arraignment the judge warned Mote against having any contact with Benjamin.

But Martha Mote has her supporters. A group, including her daughter Stephanie Mote, claims Benjamin wasn't shot during a domestic dispute. They say the officer shot himself.

"So he shot himself in the stomach when he was sitting in the cruiser with Martha Mote in the passenger seat," said Joshua Simmons, fiancé of Martha Mote's daughter. "Then he put a towel around his stomach and shot himself so blood wouldn't go everywhere."

Simmons says he talked with Martha Mote about what happened and she told him that after Benjamin shot himself he threw the gun and bloody towel in her lap and she hid the items out of fear.

"He shot himself because he wanted benefits and sympathy from this 17-year-old girl so she would leave her boyfriend and be with him," said Stephanie, Martha Mote's daughter.

Mote's daughter claims that Benjamin was obsessed with her 17-year-old cousin and he spent a lot of money to keep relatives - including Mote - quiet about that relationship."

"Yeah, they always rode together," said family friend Teresa Whitmore. "Yeah he would take her to the store; he would buy her groceries."

And Mote's family members say the 17-year-old they say Benjamin is obsessed with turned 18 on the same day of the shooting.

Martha Mote is behind bars under a $200,000 bond. She is scheduled to be back in court on September 29.

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