Martin Hernandez, 44, was sentenced to 82 years to life in prison, plus two life terms without possibility of parole, on Monday, July 15, for shooting and killing two people and injuring a third in a dispute over a lost dog, according to the Fresno Bee.
Hernandez had his son with him on May 8, 2006, when he was searching for the family’s lost Chihuahua. He was told that a dog resembling his had been seen at the approximate location of the Sequoia Terrace Apartment home of Nicole Allen and James Rodriguez.
Hernandez later took a gun to the building in the 400 block of South Trinity Street, allegedly entering through a back door, where he shot and killed Nicole Allen, 22, and James Rodriguez, 23, in front of their three children. He then shot James’ brother, Joseph Rodriguez, in the back, leaving him confined to a wheelchair, according to prosecutor Jeff Dupras.
Hernandez reportedly fled to Mexico but was later arrested and brought back to Fresno.
Barbara Rodriguez, mother of the two male victims, is raising the three children and testified about the impact of losing their parents.
Hernandez addressed the court through an interpreter. He said he is sorry for the Rodriguez family, but claims that he is innocent. “I will die in a jail, but the guilty people are free out there," Hernandez said, according to the Fresno Bee. He now has 60 days to appeal the sentence.
Although he denies committing the crimes, his son and sister told police Hernandez confessed to them, the Sacramento Bee reports.