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PRESS RELEASE

10/06/15

CONTRACT KILLER PLEADS TO LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE FOR CALIFORNIA


MURDERS
Today in Department 4 of the Visalia Division of the Tulare County Superior Court, Judge Brett Alldredge presiding,
Jose Manuel Martinez, age 53, of Richgrove, CA, pled guilty to nine counts of first-degree murder and one count of
attempted murder. The murders in California occurred over a 31 year period beginning in 1980 and ending in 2011. The
plea will carry a sentence of life without parole.
In addition to the nine counts of murder and one count of attempted murder, Martinez pled guilty to special
circumstance allegations of multiple murders, lying in wait, kidnapping and murder for financial gain.
Six of the nine murder victims were killed in Tulare County, two in Kern, and one in Santa Barbara, where the
defendant also attempted to kill a witness to that crime. The crimes were as follows:
Martinez pled guilty to the October 21, 1980 murder of 23-year-old David Bedolla of Lindsay, CA (Tulare County).
The victim was shot while driving his vehicle to work with his wife, brother, and brother-in-law. The shooting took
place between Lindsay and Strathmore in Tulare County.
Martinez pled guilty to the October 1, 1982 murder of 30-year-old Sylvester Ayon and the attempted murder of 17year-old G. G., who were both shot while working on a ranch near the Santa Ynez area off Refugio road (Santa Barbara
County). G.G. survived the shooting while Sylvester Ayon died from multiple gunshot wounds.
Martinez pled guilty to the October 19, 1982 murder of 22-year-old Raul Gonzalez of Earlimart, CA (Tulare County).
The victim was last seen at his home on October 19, 1982. Two days later his body was located by ranchers off
Fountain Springs Road, east of Porterville. He had been shot and stabbed multiple times.
Martinez pled guilty to the April 8, 1995 murder of 29-year-old Domingo Perez of Earlimart, CA (Tulare County). The
victim was reported missing by family members on April 8, 1995. His body was located in an orange grove just north of
Richgrove in Tulare County on May 23, 1995. He had been shot once in the head.

Martinez pled guilty to the February 14, 2000 murder of 56-year-old Santiago Perez of Pixley, CA (Tulare County),
who was shot to death in his bed in the early morning hours. The victims four minor children were home at the time of
the shooting.
Martinez pled guilty to the February 15, 2007 murder of 25-year-old Jose Alvarado (Kern County). The victim was
located on a dirt access road outside of the town of McFarland in Kern County. He had been shot multiple times.
Martinez pled guilty to the March 23, 2009 murder of 52-year-old Juan Bautista Moreno (Kern County). The victim
was located in an orange grove south of Elmo Highway near McFarland in Kern County. He had been shot multiple
times.
Martinez pled guilty to the September 30, 2009 murder of 45-year-old Joaquin Barragan of Earlimart, CA (Tulare
County). The victim was located on the bank of Deer Creek canal just east of Earlimart by ranchers working the area.
He had been missing since September 27, 2009. Mr. Barragan suffered multiple gunshot wounds.
Martinez pled guilty to the February 7, 2011 murder of 54-year-old Gonzalo Urquieta of Earlimart, CA (Tulare
County). The victim was located in an orange grove just outside of the town of Richgrove, CA. He had been missing
since February 5, 2011. Mr. Urquieta was shot multiple times.
Martinez is currently serving a 50 year sentence after pleading guilty to a 2013 murder in the State of Alabama.
Despite what we have been told, I am certain that time does not heal all wounds. For the Central Valley families who
have lost their beloved brothers, sons, and fathers at the murderous hands of Jose Manuel Martinez, there will never be
enough time to heal those wounds. But there will be justice. This serial killer and self-described hitman will spend the
rest of his life behind bars. There is no doubt that he has proven himself to be a grave danger to our community, so we
all will take comfort that he has been removed from society, said Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward.
It is my fervent hope that this brings some solace to the families who survived through the loss of their loved one and
then lived many years wondering if there would ever be answers, resolution, and ultimately justice. Today there is
justice, Ward continued. This case could not have found resolution without the tireless efforts of Tulare County
Sheriff Mike Boudreaux and the Tulare County Sheriffs Department, Santa Barbara District Attorney Joyce Dudley,
Kern County District Attorney Lisa Green, and the Santa Barbara and Kern County Sheriff Departments.
The case was prosecuted by Supervising District Attorney David Alavezos. All six Tulare County homicides were
investigated by the Tulare County Sheriffs Department. Sentencing is scheduled for November 2 in Visalia.

Media inquiries can be directed to the Office of the District Attorney, County of Tulare
Assistant District Attorney Daniel Underwood (559) 636-5494