A man with a “broken brain” killed two random strangers three years ago, according to his defense lawyers. If convicted, he faces either the death penalty or life in prison.
Christian Alberto Martinez, 23, is charged with capital murder in the January 2011 stabbing deaths of Amalia Flores, 58, and her daughter Jovana Flores, 20. A jury began hearing testimony Wednesday morning.
Defense attorney Joe Spencer told jurors that after hearing all the testimony and seeing the evidence, they would find Martinez is not guilty by reason of insanity.
“Every crime is a tragedy, but not every tragedy is a crime,” Spencer said.
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He noted that Martinez suffered from “a broken brain,” and that there was no reason or motive behind the deaths.
On the day of the murders, Martinez had become frustrated after locking his car keys inside of his home and began a five-mile walk to his girlfriend’s house.
He came across jogger, Jovana Flores, and followed her to the home she shares with her parents in El Paso. Martinez stabbed Flores and her mother, Amalia, more than 100 times.
Martinez had tried to commit suicide a week before and then tried to saw off his hand, Spencer told the court Tuesday.
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Amalia Flores’ second daughter found the bodies and Martinez lying on her mother’s bed. When El Paso police arrived at the scene, Martinez had locked himself in the bedroom. Police broke down the door and attempted to restrain him.
During a mental competency hearing in 2012, Spencer said Martinez suffers from Kawasaki disease, an autoimmune disorder, severe chronic form of depression, and schizoid personality disorder.
Martinez was both sexually and verbally abused as a child, according to Spencer.
More than 35 witnesses are expected to testify in the case.
Sources: Inquisitr, El Paso Times