54ºF

Family of man deputies say was killed by girlfriend’s ex-husband struggling to cope with his death

HOUSTON – The family of a Missouri City man who deputies say was killed by his girlfriend’s ex-husband Monday said they urged him last week to end his relationship. Now, Martez Hurt’s family is heading to Texas from Washington, D.C. to retrieve his body.

“I can’t believe it,” said Marlene Hurt-Ikem, Hurt’s aunt. “Martez [was} my baby.”

Marlene Hurt-Ikem said her family has not slept since receiving the tragic news.

“What was he thinking, you know at that moment when he got the first bullet. How was he thinking? What was going through his head?,” Hurt-Ikem wondered as the tears fell.

Her 28-year-old nephew Martez Hurt was gunned down in his car Monday morning outside his girlfriend’s Sienna home by her ex-husband, police said. Matthew Jacobs, 32, has been charged with Hurt’s murder.

This past March, Fort Bend County deputies received three domestic violence calls concerning Jacobs and his unnamed ex-wife, officials said.

“When he told me that the guy followed him to his house he said, ‘Aunt Marlene he know where I live at.’ I said ‘Martez you need to leave the girl alone,’” the aunt recalled.

Hurt-Ikem said her nephew promised her last week that he would leave; tragically it wasn’t soon enough. The aspiring rapper posted on social media Monday morning, “You deserve all good things life has offer.”

Less than an hour later the young father was dead.

Relatives said the D.C. native was always jovial and ambitious.

“He was always on-the-go, meaning that he was always looking for something to challenge himself and he always wanted something better for himself as well,” said Darrin Bates, Hurt’s uncle.

After graduating from Florida A&M University, he went on to work for the Pentagon. He decided to leave that job to become an entrepreneur by starting his own clothing line. Hurt’s family said that’s the reason he moved from Florida to Texas three years ago.

“It is dangerous when you leave,” said Vita Goodell, executive director of the Fort Bend Women’s Center. “You’re right to be scared but we are here to help and if you call us we can help you. We know how to help you do it more safely.”

The Fort Bend Women’s Center is the only domestic violence resource in the county. They’ve received 10,355 calls to their emergency hotline in 2019. FBWC has helped nearly 700 survivors year to date. Their emergency shelters are currently full due to social-distancing, but they are providing hotel accommodations to domestic violence survivors.

“The number of calls for our hotline in the first few weeks went way down and we thought oh my goodness, what could be happening,” Goodell said. “And we realized when you’re trapped in the home with your abuser you can’t just pick up the phone and call someone. Once the stay-at-home order was lifted survivors were able to get more access to phones.”

In Harris County, domestic violence-related deaths are up. There have been 24 deaths in 2020 compared to 17 in 2019.

Domestic violence survivors are urged to call the 24/7 emergency hotline for help at 281-342-HELP.

Hurt-Ikem said she’s traveling to Texas Tuesday to bring her nephew’s body back to his hometown. If she could speak to the man charged with her nephew’s death she said she’d ask him why.

“He owes us an explanation. You gonna go out there and walk to his car, shoot him up like that?'” she said.

Hurt-Ikem has set up a GoFundMe account to help with funeral arrangements. To donate, click here.