PHOENIX, AZ (February 8, 2013) – A brutal killing of a young mother that occurred in front of her 2-and-a-half year-old daughter has resulted in an 44-year prison sentence for Victor Abraham Martinez, Jr. (D.O.B 1/12/86). Martinez was sentenced to aggravated terms for Second Degree Murder and Child Abuse and will never be eligible for early release.
“We are grateful for the imposition of aggravated penalties for the unspeakably cruel and heinous acts of this defendant,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “While today’s sentence represents a measure of justice for this terrible crime, our hearts go out to Christina’s family and her daughter, who have suffered an irreplaceable loss,” he added.
Victor Martinez and Christina Hallman met and began dating in the winter of 2009. Christina ended their relationship in December of that year and contacted Martinez the following January to make arrangements to pick up a couple of her daughter’s toys she believed had been left at his house. Sometime during the afternoon of January 4, 2010, Christina met Martinez at his home to recover the items. She had arranged to be on the phone with her sister because she had concerns about meeting him in person. After arriving at the home and speaking with Martinez, she told her sister she was OK and that she would text her later.
The two began having a conversation about their relationship in Christina’s car in front of her daughter. Martinez became upset, pulled out a small caliber handgun and fired six shots into Christina’s head. He then shoved her body toward the center console of the car and drove the vehicle a short distance from his home and parked it in a business area of Tempe.
Employees of the Bunzl Phoenix warehouse on South Harl Avenue began arriving to work sometime before 3:00am on January 5 and noticed a car with a driver slumped over in the front seat, believing it to be a drunk who had parked the night before to sleep it off. At around 8:00am two employees approached the car and discovered Christina’s dead body and her daughter hugging her mother. The child appeared to be cold and refused to come out of the vehicle. One of the employees called 9-1-1. Martinez later admitted to the crime in an interview with police.
On January 12, 2012, the Grand Jurors of Maricopa County indicted Martinez on one count of First Degree Murder, and one count of Child Abuse. After a five-day trial and three days of deliberations, the jury was unable to agree on the First Degree Murder charge and convicted the defendant of the lesser-included offense of Second Degree Murder as well as Child Abuse.
Today, the Honorable Roger Brodman sentenced Martinez to an aggravated term of 22 years for the murder charge and an aggravated term of 22 years for Child Abuse. Under Arizona’s sentencing guideless for offenses classified as Dangerous Crimes Against Children, the two terms must be served consecutively.