Defense in Martinez murder trial: Not guilty by reason of insanity

Defense in Martinez murder trial: Not guilty by reason of insanity

POSTED: Friday, January 24, 2014 - 7:59pm

UPDATED: Friday, January 24, 2014 - 8:09pm

Prosecutors rested their case Friday in the Christian Martinez capital murder trial.  Martinez is accused of stabbing and killing Jovana Flores, 20, and her mother, Amalia Flores, 58, inside of their East El Paso home in January of 2011.

Forensic scientists with the Department of Public Safety's crime lab in El Paso testified that Martinez's blood was found not only in the bathroom where officers found him, but throughout most of the Flores' home on Pratt Ave. 

Dr. Juan Contin, the Medical Examiner who performed Jovanna and Amalia's autopsies also testified.  He said both Amalia and Jovana died due to blood loss from the stab wounds. 

The prosecution presented autopsy photos and diagrams, and the jury listened as Dr. Contin described both victim's wounds.  Contin said Amalia suffered more stab wounds to the back of her body than the front.  Jovana's injuries were the opposite, with more stab wounds and cuts to the front of her body, including her forehead, neck, breasts, chest and stomach.

The defense seemed to want to make the point that the series of events that day were all a result of Martinez not being in the right state of mind.

Defense attorney Joe Spencer asked Dr. Contin, "Where you present when it happened?"  Contin responded, "No."  Spencer then asked, "You have no idea the state of the suspect at the time?"  Again, Contin responded, "No."

The state rested its case following Contin's testimony.  Before the defense called its first witness, it asked Judge Gonzalo Garcia to consider two motions, one of which asked them to consider that Martinez was not guilty by reason of insanity.  Judge Garcia denied the motion.

The defense's first witness was one of the surgeons who treated a cut to Martinez's left arm.  Martinez reportedly cut his left arm while he was still in the Flores home.

Dr. Juan Monsivais, a reconstructive microsurgeon in El Paso, treated performed a second surgery on Martinez's hand, following an emergency surgery.  He said Martinez had severed two main arteries in his left forearm and that his hand was only attached by the bone.

Dr. Monsivais said he also found evidence of a previous cut to his wrist that he said Martinez admitted was self-inflicted.  It was at the point that Monsivais said he requested a psychiatric consulation for Martinez, who he believed was suicidal.

"He stated several times that he wished he could commit suicide, and he wished that he had been shot dead at the scene by the cops," said Monsivais.

Dr. Hung Vu, an orthopedic surgeon in El Paso, who also treated Martinez in the emergency room.  He could not remember specifics about Martinez, other than what was listed in his medical records.  He also could not identify Martinez in the courtroom.

Martinez was initially listed as John Doe on hospital records, then later told hospital personnel that his name was David Rivera.

The trial resumes Monday.








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