A Ventura County jury found a Santa Paula gang member guilty of murder in a 2014 shooting. Jurors convicted Mark James Martinez, 36, of first-degree murder and shooting at an inhabited dwelling. They also found true a series of special allegations. They included personally discharging a weapon and committing crimes for the benefit of a street gang.
The victim, a Santa Paula woman, died from gunshots fired inadvertently into her home between rival gangs. According to witnesses, the rival gangs confronted each other outside the victim’s home. A physical altercation escalated to a shooting. One gang member produced a weapon and fired at Martinez, who fired back. The bullet entered the victim’s home and struck her in the neck, and she died in her kitchen.
The other gang member who fired first, Ernesto Marron, Jr., pled guilty in January to negligently discharging a firearm. He also pleaded guilty to personally discharging a weapon and committing crimes for the benefit of a street gang. He remains jailed awaiting sentencing in that case.
A third gang member pleaded guilty to shooting at an inhabited dwelling and committing crimes for a street gang. He is now serving an 11-year sentence. Martinez will return to court April 29 for sentencing. He is expected to receive a life sentence at that time.
Santa Paula murder lawyer
There is no more serious charge in California than homicide. California’s death penalty has put nearly 750 people on death row, awaiting execution. When you face homicide charges here, your best approach is to hire an experienced, aggressive murder lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has nearly 35 years of experience in criminal defense. He takes homicide cases in Ventura County and throughout Southern California.
His first priority will be to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. When that’s not possible, he will work toward the best possible outcome for you. Don’t rely on inexperience when your life is literally at stake. Instead, contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County murder case.
Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk, via Flickr