|For Immediate Release
Case # 05CF3954
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
TRIAL BEGINS TODAY FOR MAN LINKED THROUGH
PEPSI CAN DNA TO STABBING-MURDER
OF ELDERLY SANTA ANA COUPLE
*The District Attorney is seeking the death penalty in this case
SANTA ANA – A man faces trial today for murdering an elderly couple by stabbing them to death after being linked to the crime through DNA found on a Pepsi can. Carlos Martinez, 32, Santa Ana, is charged with two felony counts of special circumstances murder during the commission of a burglary, two felony counts of elder abuse, one felony count of first degree residential burglary, and sentencing enhancement allegations for multiple murders, the personal use of a deadly weapon, and great bodily injury to an elder. Martinez has a prior conviction for a 1995 car theft. Opening statements began this morning, Aug. 6, 2008 in Department C-40, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana. The District Attorney is seeking the death penalty in this case.
At approximately 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 29, 2004, Martinez is accused of going to the Santa Ana home of Nicholas Casas, 83, and Emilia Casas, 73, with the intention of burglarizing the couple’s home. The married couple had their house up for sale, and Martinez is accused of pretending to be a prospective buyer. The defendant is accused of stabbing each victim several times using steak knifes from the kitchen and leaving their bodies on the floor before ransacking the house. The defendant is accused of drinking a Pepsi in the house and leaving the can on the kitchen counter. Martinez, who may have been startled or anxious, fled the scene empty handed.
The victim’s daughter, who regularly checked on her parents, arrived at their home at approximately 8:00 p.m. and found the victims on the floor in the living room. The ransacked house was covered in blood, including smears on the walls. Items from the crime scene, including the Pepsi can, were tested and the defendant was later linked to the crime through DNA.
Assistant District Attorney Dave Brent of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.