He will receive a sentence of 75 years to Life in State Prison when he is sentenced on March 25, 2013. He will have to serve 100% of the 75 years before he is even eligible to attend a parole hearing.
On July 31, 2011, Isaac Martinez threatened to kill his thirty-five year old estranged wife, Maria Estrada Martinez, and his fourteen-year old son. He told them he would kill her on Friday. On Friday August 5, 2011, at approximately 5:20 p.m., Isaac Martinez followed Maria Martinez to a convenience store. He was wearing a long sleeve shirt with the name of his gang prominently displayed by the large tattoo across his neck. He waited outside behind her car for her to come out of the store. As she walked to her car he attacked her in broad daylight with a .32 caliber handgun, striking her with it on the back of her head. He then shot her at close range two times on the left side of her chest. Witnesses described the shooter calmly turning and walking across the street to where his car was parked and driving away, but no witnesses were willing to identify him. Martinez fled to a relative’s home where he used their phone to call his mom for help.
Martinez’s mother in turn called Martinez’s father to come help his son, telling him that Martinez had just shot his wife. Martinez’s father and step-mother drove from Arizona to Santa Maria, picked up Martinez and headed back towards Arizona. Santa Maria Police Detectives and Gang Suppression Team Detectives were able to locate the vehicle. The vehicle was stopped by the United States Marshall’s Office, the Arizona Department of Public Safety and the Yuma Arizona Police Department on August 6, 2011. Inside the vehicle was Martinez along with his father and step-mother. Martinez was arrested for on outstanding felony parole warrant and later transported back to Santa Barbara County Jail to face murder charges. Officers located a .32 caliber handgun tucked in Martinez’s waistband. The Department of Justice ballistics expert later confirmed that the .32 caliber handgun tucked into Martinez’s waistband was the gun that shot the bullet that killed Maria Martinez. The Department of Justice DNA analyst located Maria Martinez’s DNA on the handgun.
District Attorney Joyce Dudley commends that Santa Maria Police Department Detectives, Gang Suppression Team Detectives, and Santa Barbara County District Attorney Investigators for their outstanding work on this investigation, which included a tremendous number of witness interviews, a trip to Arizona, search warrants, and many other time-consuming tasks. District Attorney Dudley stated that “A victim should never die in vain. It is my hope that anyone in the community who may be in an abusive relationship knows that there are many people here to help them. I am encouraging them to call the police to report any physical violence, because no one has the right to physically harm another human being. My thoughts and prayers are with Maria’s family and friends. Although nothing will bring Maria back, I hope Martinez’s guilty plea will allow them some sense of closure.”