PHOENIX, AZ (June 14, 2012) – Justin Lee Martin (D.O.B. 3/12/77) has been ordered to serve a 125 year term in the Arizona Department of Corrections for committing a series of home invasions with his uncle in the Town of Paradise Valley in 2009. Martin was previously convicted for two prior felony armed robberies committed in 1995 and will never be eligible for early release. Martin’s uncle, Darrell Thomas, agreed to testify against Martin in exchange for a 10 to 15 year prison sentence followed by a term of probation.
“Today’s sentence marks a permanent end to a dangerous criminal career and a just punishment for the extreme harm this Defendant caused,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “We are fortunate in Arizona to have strong sentencing laws that prevent violent repeat offenders like this from continuing to threaten our communities and victimize the citizens of Maricopa County,” he added.
According to a 23-count indictment, Martin broke into six separate Paradise Valley homes between October 20, 2009 and December 4, 2009, stole various items and, in several instances, tied up his victims and stole their vehicles. In the first invasion, two masked individuals entered the residence through a garage side door, used stun guns on the victims, tied them up and threatened them with hand guns. They forced the male victim to open a safe and made off with $5000.00 in cash and several pieces of jewelry. A jury later hung on the counts related to this incident.
In the next home invasion, on October 26, 2009, Martin entered a residential garage through a side door wearing a mask as the two victims were driving in to park their vehicle. He ordered them out at gunpoint, tied them up on and led them into the house where the male victim was able to get free and fight with Martin while the female escaped and called police. Martin fled in the victims’ vehicle after stealing a purse and other items from the house.
On November 10, 2009 Martin again wearing a mask entered a home through an unlocked arcadia door and pointed a gun at a 79 year-old victim who fled into a laundry room and subsequently escaped through the garage and called police. Martin left without stealing any items. Six days later, Martin broke into a garage and fought with a male victim, ultimately holding him at gunpoint and forcing him into the house, where the victim was able to lock the door behind him and lock Martin out of the house. He left without stealing any items.
On November 23rd, 2009, Martin wearing a mask entered a home through an open arcadia door and pointed his gun at the victim, tied him up and led him through the house stealing items and cash. Martin left in the victim’s vehicle and abandoned it a short distance away. In the last home invasion, on December 4th, 2009, Martin broke a dual pane safety glass window, entered the residence and threatened two elderly victims at gunpoint. Martin locked the victims in a pantry, where they were able to call police. Officers en route to the residence obtained the license plate information on Martin’s vehicle as it exited a road near the home. It was later determined that Martin had installed the alarm system and doors at the residence (including the one that he broke into) and had access to the home as it was being built.
Since none of the victims could identify Martin because he wore a mask, the State entered into a testimonial agreement with Darrel Thompson in which he corroborated details on two of the home invasions. Thompson was on probation and required to where a GPS ankle monitor at the time of the crimes. Tracking data showed him near the area of the first home invasion and in front of the homes of the second and third home invasions. He was also shown to be in the exact area where the car was recovered in the second home invasion. Phone records and cell tower data indicated Martin was in the Paradise Valley area before, during or after all five of the home invasions.
On May 14, 2012, after an eleven day trial, a jury found Martin guilty of multiple counts of felony armed robbery, kidnapping, misconduct involving weapons, theft of means of transportation, and burglary. The State proved at least one aggravating factor on seventeen of the eighteen counts on which Martin was convicted. Superior Court Judge Daniel Martin imposed a sentence that includes four consecutive terms of twenty-five years to life and one consecutive term of twenty-five years.