Victims' family brings emotional testimony in Martinez sentencing

State calls witnesses in Martinez sentencing

EL PASO, Texas - Life in prison or the death penalty -- the two possible sentences for the man convicted Thursday of capital murder.

Christian Martinez, 24, stabbed two women to death in January 2011. He followed 20-year-old Jovana Flores home from her jog on the east side. Martinez then stabbed Flores and her 58-year-old mother, Amalia, more than 100 times before sawing his own wrist with a knife.

The state's witnesses brought emotional testimony Thursday. The victims' loved ones wept as they spoke about Jovana and Amalia. Even a handful of jurors teared up. The bailiff had to bring one female juror a Kleenex box to wipe her mascara.

Amalia's son and Jovana's brother Reggie Galindo testified first.

"There's times I drive away, see somebody walking by my house," Galindo said through tears. "I'll come back twice to make sure my family's alright."

Enrique Flores-Perez, Amalia's husband of 20 years and Jovana's dad, also testified. He heard their names and broke down.

He paused before managing to say, "I miss them so much. My house is empty now. Empty and cold. Nothing is the same. Everything has changed in my life."

Amalia's sister and Jovana's uncle Luis Ortiz testified, "All of this that we're going through, going through all of this again, it's like squeezing a lemon on a wound."

Before admonishing the jury, Amalia's daughter and Jovana's sister wept uncontrollably.

"Just really think about your decision," she said after regrouping. "I ask you guys to put yourselves in our shoes and everything that we've gone through."

During the punishment phase of the trial, the defense tried to convince the jury that Martinez was innocent by reason of insanity. Defense attorneys will call their witnesses for the sentencing phase Monday.

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