There was nothing but some legal housekeeping Monday morning in a brief court appearance for Martin Martinez, who is accused of killing his girlfriend, Amanda Crews; her two daughters; his mother; and his niece last summer.
In a separate case, Martinez has already been ordered to stand trial on charges of murder and child abuse in the Oct. 2, 2014, death of Crews’ 2-year-old son, Christopher Ripley. The trial in Christopher’s death has not been scheduled.
Prosecutors have not announced whether they plan on combining the two murder cases, however, that’s always a possibility.
On Feb. 16, the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office informed the court that it will seek the death penalty against Martinez in connection with the five slayings that occurred July 18 at Crews’ home on Nob Hill Court in east Modesto. In addition to Crews, 38, the victims were her daughters, 6-month-old Rachael and 6-year-old Elizabeth; Martinez’s mother, Anna Brown Romero, 57; and Martinez’s 5-year-old niece, Esmeralda Navarro. Martinez was Rachael’s father.
On Monday, prosecutors submitted their written review of previous court transcripts. The defense informed the judge they will do the same in the next two weeks.
Superior Court Judge Ricardo Córdova scheduled Martinez to return to court May 16 for another pretrial hearing. The defendant remains in custody at the county jail.