Texas Execution Information Center

Execution Report: James Martinez

James Martinez
James Martinez
Executed on 10 March 2009

James Edward Martinez, 34, was executed by lethal injection on 10 March 2009 in Huntsville, Texas for the murder of two people in their car.

Martinez had a brief relationship with Sandra Walton in 2000, during which he loaned her $1,000. After the relationship ended, Martinez began stalking, harassing, and threatening Walton, and demanding repayment of the loan. On 21 September 2000, Martinez, then 26, went to Walton's condominium in Fort Worth. He stayed outside for about 20 or 30 minutes, knocking on Walton's door and telling her, "Your time is almost up." Later that evening, Martinez confronted Walton, 29, and her friend, Michael Humphreys, 19, as they were returning from a trip to buy fast food. He fired 20 to 27 shots from a .223-caliber rifle into their car, hitting Walton nine times and Humphreys eight times. Walton died in the driver's seat of her car. Humphreys died about 10 feet from the car.

Police found pistols, illegally modified firearms, illegal knives, bomb-making components, and more than 3,000 rounds of ammunition in a storage unit Martinez had rented. The storage unit also contained four books: "Be Your Own Undertaker: How to Dispose of a Dead Body", "Death Touch: Unarmed Killing Techniques", "21 Techniques of Silent Killing", and "Dragon's Touch: Weaknesses of the Human Anatomy". All four books were signed, "completed reading by James Martinez". A promissory note for $1,000 that Walton gave to Martinez in May 2000 was also in the storage unit.

At Martinez's trial, Casey Ashford testified that a few hours after the murders took place, Martinez went to the ranch where Ashford lived and asked him to keep a black canvas bag for him. The next day, Ashford heard of the murders and looked inside the bag. He saw a rifle, and decided to bury the bag under a water tank on the ranch. Some time later, Ashford told Pat Machak, the owner of the ranch, about the bag. Machak then contacted the police. When police opened the bag, they found a Steyr/Aug .223-caliber rifle, ammunition, a bullet-proof vest, a double-edged knife, a pipe bomb, a fuse, a bag of fertilizer, dark clothing, and a ski mask.

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