Texas Execution Information Center

Execution Report: David Martinez

David Martinez
David Martinez
Executed on 4 February 2009

This report is about a prisoner from San Antonio. If you meant to look up a David Martinez from Austin who was executed in 2005, Click here.

David Martinez, 36, was executed by lethal injection on 4 February 2009 in Huntsville, Texas for the murder of his girlfriend and her son in their home.

Martinez began living with Carolina Prado and her two children in their San Antonio home in the summer of 1994. On 10 July 1994, Prado and the children went to bed while Martinez was away. Sometime before dawn the following morning, Martinez, then 22, came home and beat Prado, 37, to death with a baseball bat in her bedroom. Next, he went to the living room where Prado's children were sleeping and began beating Erik, 14, with the bat. Belinda, 10, was awakened by the noise. She saw Martinez standing over Erik, striking him in the head with the bat five or six times. Belinda told Martinez to "behave." Martinez told Belinda to be quiet, or he would kill her, too. Belinda then asked where her mother was. At one point, Martinez held a knife to Belinda and tied her hands together loosely in front of her. He then handed her a note reading, "I messed up. I'll be at friends on the east side." He instructed Belinda to take the note to her grandmother, who lived next door, then he left.

At about 5:10 a.m. on 11 July, Martinez phoned Prado's mother, Rosa Ramirez, to tell her that she did not need to come pick up Carolina to take her to work because she was tired and did not plan to go in to work. At about 8:30, Belinda arrived and handed her Martinez's note, adding, "Erik has a lot of blood on his head." Ramirez then walked over to the Prado home, found Erik beaten to death, and called the police. The police found both victims, and they found blood and brain matter on the walls and ceilings throughout the bedroom and living room. They also recovered a baseball bat with blood and hair on it.

Autopsies of the victims showed that the right side of Carolina Prado's head was caved in from blunt force trauma, and about half of her brain tissue was lost. She also had contusions and bruises on her right shoulder and arm. Erik Prado suffered multiple skull contusions and fractures and had severe brain injuries.

Martinez was arrested at his grandmother's house in San Marcos two days later. He gave the arresting officers a false name even after police checked his identification in his back pocket and noted the identifying tattoos on his arm. When police picked up a baseball bat they found in his room, he told them, "That's not it." While he was being taken to jail, he asked whether he was being taken to San Antonio. He also asked "who ratted" on him. When the officer driving the vehicle responded that his crime was in the papers, he volunteered, "Yeah, you know, I killed them just like cockroaches."

In his confession, Martinez said he had been out drinking a twelve pack of beer and a bottle of rum. When he came inside, he tripped on a baseball bat. He then picked up the bat and hit Carol "for no reason." He stated that he then went into the bedroom and noticed that Belinda was half awake. She wanted to see her mother, but he told her to lay down and go to sleep. Martinez then stated, "I thought I saw Erik coming at me, so I grabbed the bat and hit him in the head. I realized he was still laying on the floor." He then tied Belinda's hands, gave her the note for her grandmother, and went to a friend's house. "I told him what I had done and I asked my friend to just put a bullet in my head.," he stated.

Martinez continued, in his own handwriting, "I feel for the actions I took, I'm requesting the only just sentence for me is the death penalty. I took the life of someone who I cared about a lot. I feel that I can never bring her back. Please give me the death penalty for mine and everybody's else's sake. I'll never forget Carol. The pain dwells within my heart forever. Carol, wherever you are, please forgive me. I do love you."

Rosa Ramirez testified that when Martinez phone her at 5:10 a.m., his speech was not slurred, and he did not sound like he was intoxicated.

At his trial, Martinez said that he was intoxicated at the time of his arrest and that his confession was coerced. The state presented evidence disputing these allegations.

Martinez's criminal history began at age 13, when he broke into a neighbor's house and stole her panties. At age 16, he committed a series of burglaries and threatened to kill a juvenile probation officer. On 30 May 1990, he attempted to sexually assault a shoe store manager when he was in the store trying on shoes. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 years' probation. After numerous probation violations, he was sent to prison in June 1992 for five years. He was paroled in December 1992. (At the time, early release was common in Texas due to strict prison population caps imposed by U.S. District Judge William Wayne Justice.) Martinez stopped reporting to his parole officer in July 1993, and in September, a warrant was issued for his arrest. He was wanted for parole violations at the time of the killings.

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