Jury continues deliberations in Christian Martinez trial

Jurors sequestered overnight after no verdict was deivered

EL PASO, Texas - UPDATE: Jurors continue deliberating the fate of Christian Martinez.

They were sequestered overnight and escorted to a hotel after more than four hours of deliberating Wednesday.

The judge reminded jurors not to watch any media coverage or read any newspapers while they were sequestered.

During closing arguments, defense attorneys said the state failed to prove that Martinez was sane.

Attorneys for Martinez maintained  he was a person in the grip of a psychotic episode that prevented him from knowing his conduct was wrong.

Jurors have to decide if Martinez is guilty, not guilty or not guilty by reason of insanity.


Both the prosecution and defense have rested their cases in the capital murder trial of Christian Martinez and the trial could soon go to the jury for deliberation.

Closing arguments will begin Wednesday morning, and the case could be given to the jury for deliberation by the afternoon.

A verdict could be reached by Wednesday, despite repeated delays in actual jury testimony so far this week.

In Tuesday's proceedings, the jury heard conflicting testimony from psychiatric and psychological experts for the defense and prosecution, each describing very different interpretations of Christian Martinez's mental conditions.

Defense expert Dr. Arthur Ramirez painted a picture of Martinez a mentally unwell young man. Dr. Ramirez said Martinez had "serious mental defects and illness" based on a reasonable psychiatric probabilyt and was hearing voices around the time of the alleged murders of Jovana and Amalia Flores three years ago today in 2011. After cross examination where the prosecution questioned the effectiveness of Dr. Ramirez's investigation, the defense rested.

The prosecution then called Dr. Timothy Proctor, and questioned him on his "opinion is that (Christian Martinez) knew his conduct was wrong" based on actions around the time of the offense. Dr. Proctor's analysis of Martinez's behavior led him to describe Martinez as trying to get away from his crime, saying "What he did was another kind of fleeing the scene - fleeing this earth" with his attempted suicide.

Before resting, the defense had asked the judge for an instructed verdict of not guilty because of evidence not entered by the state. The defense team argued that since swabs of blood from Martinez's suicide attempt weren't tested, It was evidence witheld from the jury. The judge denied that motion, and another defense motion for not guilty because of the jury not hearing from Martinez's family.

The jury had been out of the courtroom for most of Tuesday morning, another witness was examined by the court. Judge Gonzalo Garcia said he considered excluding Dr. Ramirez's testimony on Martinez's state of mind, but said he "wasn't going to do the prosecutions job for them." It was another in a series of removals of the jury from the courtroom, with the jury only hearing about an hour of testimony in between other "gatekeeping" hearings Monday, and another brief hearing on testimony from Dr. Proctor before recessing for the day.

ABC 7's complete coverage of this case will continue, with the trial itself resuming at 10 a.m. Wedneday.

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