Surviving officer in fatal Muscle Shoals shootout gets court victory, worked for alleged killer in 2019

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SHEFFIELD, Ala. — Sheffield Police Department Lt. Max Dotson has won a victory in his lawsuit against Brian Lansing Martin, who is facing capital murder charges in the shooting death of another Sheffield Police Department officer and a Muscle Shoals man.

Dotson’s court victory comes amid the revelation that he did private investigation work for Martin in 2019.

Dotson told News 19 Thursday that he was hired by Martin in 2019 and performed private investigation work for about three months. Dotson, who’s had a state private investigator license since at least 2019, according to state records, said he could not discuss the nature of the work he did for Martin. He would not characterize the work, but he did stress he was not hired to follow anyone.

Dotson said he had minimal contact with the man who is now charged with killing Dotson’s friend and colleague Sgt. Nick Risner, and William Mealback of Muscle Shoals.  He said any further discussion of his prior contact with Martin would have to, for now, take place in court.

Prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty for Martin in connection with the October 1, shooting spree that included his alleged killing of Mealback and later a shootout with officers behind an old Muscle Shoals mall. Risner was badly wounded in the encounter and died the next day from his injuries.

Martin was also wounded in the shootout.

Dotson, according to a lawsuit he filed in the week following the shootout, was struck twice in the upper left chest area. He was wearing a bullet-proof vest.

His lawsuit alleges mental and physical distress and asks for $375,000 in damages.

Last week his attorney filed a motion asking a Colbert County court to grant a default judgment in Dotson’s lawsuit because Martin did not respond to the complaint within 30 days, as required by law.

The judge granted the motion and set a Feb. 14  hearing to determine damages

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