Texas Execution Information Center

Execution Report: Virgil Martinez

Virgil Martinez
Virgil Martinez
Executed on 28 January 2009

Virgil Euristi Martinez, 41, was executed by lethal injection on 28 January 2009 in Huntsville, Texas for the murder of four people.

Veronica Fuentes lived in a trailer park near Alvin in Brazoria County with her husband and their two children. After Fuentes became estranged from her husband, she dated Martinez for some time, but they broke up. In September 1996, Fuentes told the trailer park landlord, Sherry Graves, that she was afraid of Martinez, and that if Graves saw him at the trailer park, she ought to call the sheriff's office.

On 1 October 1996, at around 11 p.m., Graves heard banging noises and screaming coming from the direction of Fuentes' trailer. She got up, went to the trailer, and listened at the window. She heard Fuentes say "No, Virgil. No. Please no. Just go. Just go." An angry male voice said the words "your purse" and "a cop". Graves went to the front door and went inside the trailer. She saw Fuentes and asked if she was okay. Fuentes replied, "Yes. Sherry, get help. Get help." Graves told Fuentes she was going to call 911, and then she called 911 as she walked back toward her house.

Next, Graves saw Fuentes in her front yard saying "No, Virgil. Oh my God." Graves then saw Martinez, 28, shoot Fuentes, 27. She then saw Fuentes fall to the ground. John Gomez, 18, a friend of Fuentes', ran towards Martinez, and Martinez shot him. Graves then took refuge inside her house. She saw Martinez run by her house, doing something with a "holster-looking belt."

Police arrived to find Fuentes dead in her front yard from ten to twelve bullet wounds. Her children, six-year-old Joshua and three-year-old Cassandra, were also dead, shot multiple times in their beds. John Gomez had been shot seven times, but was still alive. A police officer asked him, "Did the ex-boyfriend do this? Who did that?" Gomez answered, "Ex-boyfriend." He later died from his wounds.

Robin Johnstone also heard noise in the trailer park and went outside to investigate. She saw people running, then heard gunshots, then saw Gomez running. She then saw Martinez run in front of Graves's house, and also saw him wearing a gun holster around his waist. Johnstone's son, Keith Burrow, saw Martinez shoot Fuentes.

The next day, Martinez called 911 from Del Rio, some 400 miles away. He said that he was hearing voices and needed medical attention. He was taken to Kerrville State Hospital for a mental evaluation. Two weeks later, authorities found that he had given them a false name and that he was wanted for the killings in Brazoria County. Police then searched his car and found a gun belt. A box designed to hold a 9mm pistol - the same kind of weapon used for the killings - was found in Martinez's room in his mother's home. The murder weapon was never found.

At his trial, Martinez said, "God knows my heart. I'm innocent."

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