A man faces a maximum sentence of life in prison after a jury last week found him guilty of ransacking a Turlock home three years ago. The defendant’s previous convictions for violent crimes make him eligible for the life sentence.
The jury on Oct. 8 convicted Nicolas Martinez of residential burglary, grand theft of a gun, being a violent felon in possession of a gun and being a felon in possession of ammunition. Deputy District Attorney Dina Petruschenko prosecuted the case.
Martinez, 45, of Turlock had previous convictions for rape, forcible oral copulation, burglary and battery causing serious bodily injury. In 1995, he was sentenced to more than 20 years in prison for those offenses, which are considered strikes under the state’s “Three Strikes” law.
About 8 a.m. Aug. 27 of 2012, Martinez broke down the home’s back door and went inside to commit theft, according to prosecutors. After ransacking the house, Martinez ran from police officers who captured him soon after.
The prosecutors said Martinez had a loaded gun and ammunition stolen from the home, and the defendant told police he was high on methamphetamine and did not know what he was doing.
Stanislaus Superior Court Judge Rick Distaso has scheduled Martinez to return to court Nov. 9 for his sentencing hearing. The defendant remains in custody at the county jail.