Spotlight on Juan Martinez

The Jodi Arias Trial

Shining a spotlight on the Prosecutor Juan Martinez

Fact based reporting

By Rob Roman

“Mr. Martinez, you keep trying to make this a rational scenario, and it isn’t rational.” – Expert defense witness

For Juan Martinez, there are no “irrational” scenarios about a murder. Murder is against the laws of God and man. There is a victim here. A human being is dead in an unnatural way. The defendant is the accused. Many hours of police work and investigation have been rendered. The defendant has been brought to trial. Juan Martinez is going to trial to put them in a cage. A conviction will slam the door shut. When the conviction survives appeals, the door will be locked. That is the only rational response to murder.


juan in 2002


Juan Martinez doesn’t want to hear about any exceptions to the rule. He doesn’t want to hear “this is not what it seems”. The defense always seems to have an excuse, a rationalization, explanations, and alternate scenarios. The prosecution must prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. All the defense must show is any doubt, any doubt at all. The prosecution needs a unanimous jury to convict. The defense only needs one juror on their side to jam the wheels of justice. If you get a conviction, an appeal can change a sentence, send the case back to trial, or even free the defendant.


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From Juan’s perspective, one can see why he may feel like the system is against the victims of crime.  To Juan it’s truly an “adversarial system” and he will fight to win. When the death penalty is involved, the two sides tend to go too far and we might be losing a search for the truth. Winning the conviction becomes more important than the truth. Juan’s black and white way of viewing crime works well most of the time. But sometimes there will be someone in the defendant’s chair who is innocent of the crime charged or over-charged.

Sometimes this person gets stuck in the wheels of justice. Many innocent defendants have been convicted and jailed and some have been executed. So we must always be sure a trial is a search for the truth, even if sometimes the guilty person is set free. The prosecution and the defense both play vital roles in this process. The rights of victims must be carefully balanced with the rights of the accused.

During the final arguments in the guilt phase of the Jodi Arias murder trial, lead Defense attorney, Lawrence Kirk Nurmi, talked about shining a spotlight on the actions of the prosecution, specifically detective and co-counsel Esteban “Steve” Flores and the sole prosecuting attorney, Juan Martinez. The implication was that Mr. Martinez had acted improperly during the trial. I believe Detective Flores to be an honest man who only followed Dr. Horn’s opinion and he tried to help Jodi at the interrogation.

Of the enthusiastic trial watchers in the Jodi Arias case, there is also a spotlight on Juan Martinez. Prosecution supporters (Justice4Travis), see him as a “bulldog” a hero who tenaciously pursues the defendant until he can wrest a guilty verdict. Defendant supporters (Team Jodi) see him as over the top, going too far, and using a combination of emotionally charged persuasion, some direct evidence and some speculation to sway juries to render a guilty verdict.

There are many ways a prosecutor can win a case. There is hard work, attention to detail, experience, excellent direct and cross-examination of witnesses, and preparation. There is also a fierce devotion to the job of bringing a dangerous criminal to justice. Finally you will need a good grasp of the evidence, and know how to explain and persuade a jury that your evidence is sound. Juan Martinez is all of this and more.

He is passionate, dedicated, and I believe he sees the defense as having too many advantages in the system. I believe he employs methods normally used by defense attorneys to persuade the jurors to see things his way. Juan Martinez is well known for using wild speculation and “facts” not supported by the evidence in his closing arguments.

Maybe the truth is not in the extremes but somewhere in the middle. We can shine the spotlight on past and present cases to try to determine what is motivating the prosecutor with the impressive 22-1 record, Juan Martinez.

new sealHere is what his admirers in cyber space say about Juan:

Respectfully I’d like to thank Mr. Martinez for giving me the realization there’s someone fighting for victims. My father was brutally murdered in 1990, very similar to what happened to Travis Alexander.

It was very brutal I lost my faith in the judicial system after what my family went thru and watching the way these murderers have all the rights yet the victims do not. Mr. Martinez, as I see it, represents a man who I wish there were more of. He is God’s light and I wish him all the best in this world where sometimes I think our society’s become blind to so many things…

And if anything at all, perhaps some could look at this man and appreciate what he does for so many. He is truly an asset to the state. As for Ms. Arias, I hope for the victims’ family…Justice.

Juan Martinez is the best. So sick of the trash that is going around surrounding this case. Who is on trial here?

I think he is the best. If I ever need a lawyer he’s it. No BS with him. Why waste time with guilty killers?

Juan is the second youngest of a family of nine. He came to America at age 6 when his family emmigrated from Mexico and settled in California. He vowed to learn English well and be a success. He participated in many activities, such as running long distance track in high school. He finished college and attended ArizonaStateUniversity where he earned his law degree. Juan did some volunteer legal work and some work defending clients. Then, in 1988, he joined the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.

juan early yrs






What is in Juan Martinez’ heart and mind? We can try to have a better understanding of him by knowing his feeling. In this world and surely in Arizona, there is crime and there are criminals. There are vicious and violent senseless crimes and uncaring evil and cruel criminals. Juan is very aware of this. Let’s take a look at the A B C’s of the convicts now on Arizona’s Death Row:


frank atwood atwood victim

Atwood, Frank

Kidnapped and raped an 8 year-old boy.

Kidnapped, raped and Killed an 8 year-old girl and left her in the desert.


patrick bearup

Bearup, Patrick

With three accomplices, beat a man half to death with a baseball bat,

threw him in the trunk of his car, cut off his finger,

shot him with a shotgun and threw him off a cliff.


jonathan burns and victim

Burns, Jonathan

Kidnapped and raped a woman and shot her twice in the head.



Chappelle, Derek

Choked his girlfriend’s 2 1/2 year-old son nearly to death

then later drowned him in a swimming pool.



Cota, Benjamin

Beat an older man to death with a hammer, then bound his wife and struck her

in the head repeatedly with a hatchet until dead.

He wrapped them up in plastic, hid in their home, then stole everything they had

of value including their car.



Djerf, Richard

Raped a 17 year-old girl, then shot, stabbed and beat to death the girl,

her father and mother and her 5 year-old brother.



Ellison, Charles

With an accomplice, broke into a couple’s home, bound them with telephone cord

and masking tape, then suffocated the husband with a pillow and choked the wife to death.


So, it’s easy to see why Juan grew up believing in law and order, right and wrong, good and bad. He believes that if you intentionally caused a person’s death, you should pay by being removed from society and in many cases, sentenced to death. It’s just so simple. It’s not difficult to see where his sentiments come from.


It was 1997, ten years after Juan Martinez joined the Maricopa County Attorney’s office. Late at night in an upscale neighborhood in MaricopaCounty, Greg Koons heard screams coming from his neighbor’s back yard. He went outside and peered over the fence. He saw his neighbor, casually pushing his wife into his in-ground swimming pool and holding her head under the water. He sprinted inside and called the police.

scott falater






Soon after, the neighbor, Scott Falater, opened his door to the police. Confused and not understanding what the fuss was all about, the police went into his backyard and found his wife Yarmilla floating dead in the pool. She had been stabbed 44 times. Scott Falater was a High Councilor in the Mormon Church, and a husband and father of two. He was a successful design engineer with Motorola and very active in the church. He was a mild-mannered man, had seldom become angry, and had no motive to kill his wife whom he loved dearly.

Juan Martinez went to court to exact justice. It seemed like an open and shut case. There was an eye witness, a direct identification of the perpetrator, and a viciously stabbed and drowned wife. The man was arrested within minutes of the crime. The courtroom was nearly empty. Next door in a crowded courtroom was a high profile case. Teen members of a Crips gang were on trial for a brutal, three hour sexual assault of a fifteen year-old mentally handicapped girl.

Juan Martinez was shocked to find out that the man’s high paid attorneys were claiming their client, Scott Falater, was innocent by reason of sleepwalking! Like the Jodi Arias case, the focus was not on who did the killing, but why. The defense claimed that Scott Falater had no incentive, motive or reason to kill his wife of 20 years. There had to be another explanation for why this would occur. For Juan, there is no why. She’s dead and he killed her and justice will be done. For Juan, you are either a good or bad person. If you do something like this, you are a bad person and the “why” shouldn’t matter at all. Still he needed to give the jury a viable motive.

This is the template case for the Jodi Arias case. Both involved horrific killings where the defendants admitted to horrific acts but claimed no knowledge of the killings or any intent of murder. Both defenses relied on crucial expert testimony. Juan struggled to find a motive for this senseless killing during the trial. He offered many scenarios to the jury. His wife refused to have more children. His wife was moving his family away from the Mormon Church.

falater family large

Sure, he was mild mannered, but he took his anger from work home to his wife. Juan argued with the defendant and declared that Falater didn’t even know his wife’s birthday. He told a shocked Falater he had the year wrong. Juan was mistaken due to an incorrect report.

Juan Martinez even argued that Falater killed his wife because he thought she was fat and dumpy. Falater made the statement to police that “a terrible sin has been committed”. Falater was referring to the killing. Juan suggested to the jury that Scott Falater killed his wife because SHE committed a terrible sin.

By the end of the trial, State v. Falater starring Juan Martinez had become the new high profile trial in Arizona. The sleepwalking defense became famous around the country. Juan attacked the defense experts. He claimed that the expert’s conclusions were invalid because the expert was not provided with all the details. The defendant recognized his dog but not his wife, and he cleaned up the scene and the evidence.

In closing the defense attorney reminded the jury that Juan Martinez mischaracterized the evidence and made comments not supported by the evidence. The defense attorney implied that the prosecuter violated his duty to see that truth and justice is done. The defense reminded the jury that Scott Falater was a passive and non-violent man, and that the prosecution could not come up with a valid reason or motive for the killing.

The defense attorney tried to explain to the jury that sometimes there are cases where things are not as they seem. There are exceptions when things happen which are difficult to explain. At one point the defense expert witness addressed the prosecutor:

“Mr. Martinez, you keep trying to make this a rational scenario, and it isn’t rational.” At some point in the closing, Martinez slammed the door on all this talk about sleepwalking.

“Do you think that she deserved to die?” he asked. “Look at her. We’ve placed so much attention on him, everything’s about him. Look at her!”

juan 1






Juan Martinez then threw a photo up of the victim on the autopsy table. He loudly implored the jury to look at her, to look at the indignity of the victim.  The defense attorney talks about reasons, REASONS?

Scott Falater “had 44 reasons to KILL his wife”, Martinez screamed. He was referring to the 44 knife wounds. Only one member of this Arizona jury had a college degree.

He appealed to the nuts and bolts sense of the jury.

He had a sound argument for the jury:

“This guy here killed his wife ….. and he’s guilty of first-degree murder.”

Scott Falater was found guilty of 1st degree muder and sentenced by the judge to life without parole.

Even 15 years before the Jodi Arias case, Juan Martinez was already honing his craft. He was becoming an expert at arguing the details with expert witnesses, discrediting witnesses, questioning the memory of the defendant and defense witnesses, and calling them out as liars. He was becoming better than defense attorneys at weaving speculation into the facts of the case while at the same time, calling defense evidence fictions and  “fantasy”.

He ridiculed defense theories, calling them such things as “The man of La Mancha defense”. Fifteen years before the Arias trial, Juan was already in the habit of yelling at witnesses, including a priest, and ridiculing witnesses. Even in the Falater trial, he questioned the children of the victim and the defendant in a voice laced with irony and sarcasm.  In Juan’s view, he had delivered justice for Yarmilla. Her children who lost two parents may beg to differ.

doug grant






hilary falaterLater, Juan had another case of seemingly obvious 1st degree murder. Two divorced Mormons had married. Doug Grant was a very successful in the health products business. He owned a multi-million dollar company. His clients included famous professional athletes and NBA teams.

Doug cheated on his wife with his receptionist. His wife, Faylene, found out and complained to the church. Here we see the dangerous nexus between the LDS Church, social life, and business. It seems that if Doug Grant did not return to his wife, the church would get involved and this would impact his business. It’s important to understand this dynamic of the Mormon Church in the Jodi Arias trial.

Doug told Faylene he ended it with his girlfriend Hilary, and he wanted to remarry Faylene in Las Vegas. They went for an impromptu  2nd Honeymoon at Timpanogos Cave National Monument where his wife suddenly and mysteriously fell into trees down a sixty foot cliff.

ht_doug_faylene_090331_msShe survived and they returned home. Faylene took some pain killers and a bath to heal from her injuries.

She was found dead in the bathtub by Doug Grant in September, 2001. Three weeks after Faylene’s death, Doug Grant married his receptionist, Hilary Dewitt, and they soon became a family aftter Hilary adopted Faylene’s two sons.

Another high priced attorney and in Juan’s mind, more excuses, fancy explanations, technicalities, more sure signs of guilt that the court would not admit into evidence.

hilary falayer 2Imagine Juan’s shock and disbelief when he could not convince the jury of the 1st degree murder he believed was so obvious. The jury was clearly divided and Juan was forced to give instructions for lesser included offenses. Murder one and the death penalty was off the table for Doug Grant. He got  a 5 year sentence for manslaughter.

Faylene had made many statements about committing suicide and had even given Hilary her blessing to take car of her children. The prosecution had tried, unsuccessfully,  to hide these facts from the jury.

I can imagine that Juan was devastated, and thought justice had not been done. He had failed to get justice for Faylene. He contemplated his lessons and moved on.



The Grant family still believes Doug is innocent. They list a number of accusations of prosecutorial misconduct in State v. Grant. This includes

-“Losing” key evidence, “throwing away reports”, and failure to turn over key evidence to the defense in a timely manner.

-Convincing the judge to not allow into evidence testimony that the medical examiner was pressured to change his opinion about the cause of death on the victim’s autopsy report from “accident” to “undetermined”.

-Convincing the judge to rule possible exculpatory evidence as inadmissible

-Convincing the judge not to allow into evidence testimony and records showing that investigators were removed from the case when they told their superiors they could not find evidence of foul play.

-Objecting over fifty times during the defense opening statements.

-Preventing defense witness from trying to explain their answers by cutting off their answers and forcing them to answer either yes, or no.

-When these same witnesses were being questioned by the defense, Juan Martinez objected “over 200 times per day”.

-The prosecution case took three and one half months, but the judge ordered the defense to complete their case in two weeks in order to “stay on schedule”.

-Intimidating defense witnesses by accusing them of violating the law without evidence or any record of a law having been broken. The accusation that they broke the law is used to discredit their testimony and truthfulness.

-Accusing defense witnesses of lying but using arguing tactics and word tricks rather than evidence to support it.

-Using the normal and common variations in a witness’ statements and memory to attack their memory of an event, and then to suggest that the memory varies because the witness is lying.

-Also in this trial, jury members who were not a part of the final jury admitted that they had been influenced by the media and they had made up their minds the defendant was guilty before the trial began.

The jury did not believe the prosecution’s theory and did not like Juan’s tactics. Do any of these tactics foster a “search for the truth”? Do you recognize any of these tactics from the Jodi Arias trial? Doug’s family feels that truth and justice were not found in State v. Grant. These two quotes appear on their website:


“Anybody who understands the justice system knows innocent people are convicted every day.” –Florida Supreme Court Justice, Gerald Kogun (Ret.)


“In this country the presumption of innocence is dead, dead, dead.” –John Grisham


Not long after, Juan found himself on the losing side of a case. A man had been found shot dead in the forest. The defendant was David Wayne Carr. The evidence was thin. Juan started fighting back in his own way. With less than two weeks before the trial, Martinez did not give the defense a list of his witnesses and other materials. The defense was angry. They could not properly prepare their defense. They filed a complaint to the judge. This offense was punishable by up to six months in jail. The judge was very upset that his court was delayed.

The County attorney hired a high powered attorney to defend Juan. He fought back against the charge. Juan accused the defense of not giving a list of possible defenses to him until 2 weeks before the trial. Do you recognize this lawyer’s tactic of counter-charging from the Jodi Arias trial? Juan ended up being forced to write a letter of apology to the court. The case was delayed and later, the jury found David Carr not guilty.

This is the only case Martinez lost. Strangely, a mysterious friend of Jodi Arias appeared in the courtroom during her trial. He called himself “Bryan Carr”. He claimed to talk to Jodi daily and that he had confidential information. He claimed Jodi was telling the truth about the two masked people that were responsible for the murder. The claim was that Travis Alexander’s murder was actually an old Mormon atonement ritual called “blood atonement”. A Mormon who had committed grave sins could still go to heaven if he paid for his sins through this death ritual. Arias claimed she did not know Carr and she did not listen to him. Then, “Bryan Carr” disappeared from the courtroom and the media as quickly as he had appeared.

wendi andrMartinez recovered with the murder trial of Wendi Andriano. Wendi’s Husband was terminally ill. There were changes in his life insurance policy. He was going to win a large lawsuit. The bleach blonde Wendi was neglecting and cheating on her husband and always out drinking. She was never home. There was a question about whether her husband would leave her. Maybe he would cut her out of his will.

On October 8, 2000, Wendi tried to poison her husband. It wasn[t the first time. She called an ambulance when it seemed like he was about to die, then she sent the ambulance away when he partially recovered. Later she hit him 23 times in the head with a barstool. She stabbed him multiple times leaving the knife in his throat.


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Juan cross examined Wendi Andriano ferociously. Wendi claimed that the poisoning was a planned assisted suicide, that her husband accepted her cheating, and that he attacked her and she defended herself.

On the stand she said “If I am convicted, it is because of my own bad choices”. Interestingly, Jodi Arias actually mimicked some of the mannerisms of Wendi Andriano and quoted her while on the stand. Wendi’s hair also returned to its natural brown color and she dressed down and wore glasses at her death penalty trial.

But the victim, Joseph Andriano would win the day. The jury didn’t believe her story and they sentenced her to death just a few days before Christmas, 2004.

wendi andriano 1



Empowered from his victory, Juan must have felt invincible. Things were going well for Juan, and his record was impressive. Then he ran into a legal buzz saw named Shawn P. Lynch.

This may have really hardened him about the justice system.  Lynch and a friend had killed a man and then went on a spending spree with his credit card. There was plenty of evidence and little doubt about who committed the crime. The confusion came from who did what. The jury convicted Lynch of murder but they could not agree on premeditation.

Next Juan would learn about the aggravation of the aggravators. The jury agreed on murder for a money motive, but they disagreed on heinous cruel or depraved. A second mitigation and penalty phase was ordered.

During the second phases, Juan instructed the jury that there were four aggravating circum206125stances: Pecuniary gain (money), heinous, cruel, and depraved. In 2006, the jury found all four aggravators and sentenced Lynch to death.

Juan thought he had justice for James Pazarella, but the case was far from over.

Shawn Lynch appealed with a barrage of issues, including prosecutorial misconduct on the part of Juan Martinez. The higher court rejected most of the claims.

Technically, heinous, cruel and depraved are not three aggravators. They are three “prongs” of a single aggravator. The court stated that since the jury was instructed there were four aggravators instead of two, this was found to be prejudicial to the client. So this crime from 2001 and death penalty sentence from 2006, has yet go back to trial a third time for another sentencing phase.

More than 12 years later, there is not a final sentence. There has been no closure for the Panzarellas.  I think this experience aggravated Juan and made him feel that the justice needs a little push sometimes since the system and appeals process all seem to be on the defendant’s side.

dean glickJuan had better success with State v. Glick. Dean Glick, 41, was a vile and degenerate person by any standards. He lived with his 82 year old mother. He abused her and stole her money. He hired a prostitute and promised her a huge bonus. His mother protested when he tried to use her credit card to pay. The prostitute left with her driver when the argument became heated. They quickly called the police.

Dean Glick then beat his 82 year-old mother to death with a plastic flashlight. When the police arrived, Glick had barricaded the front door. There was plenty of evidence and two eye witnesses who saw the beginning of a horrible fight just minutes before the murder.

Imagine Juan’s attitude towards defense attorneys when Glick’s attorneys told the jury that Dean was caring and responsible. He loved his mom way too much to kill her. They simply had an argument. The argument got out of control and the beating was not so bad. Glick broke his mom’s ribs and sternum not while beating her but while trying to perform CPR on her fragile body! It is not difficult to understand Juan’s disdain for the defense. Dean Glick was convicted of 1st degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

cory and victimsMartinez had further success with a high profile serial killer case. Cory Morris was accused of killing his girlfriend and four other women and burying them next to his trailer. From 2002 to 2003 he had lured the women into his home with promises of money. Then the victims were subjected to beatings, rape, murder and then necrophilia. Imagine the disdain on his face when the defense counsel addressed the jury.

corry morrisThis is the case where Juan Martinez cut open an evidence bag containing the coat of one of the murdered and buried victims, removed it, and “invited the jury to take a good whiff”. This was supposedly to prove necrophelia, even though:

1) There was really no need to do so, and

2) How does a jacket that smells like death prove necrophelia?



The defense was equally irrational, arguing that although Morris committed 5 murders, he had not premeditated any of them. Therefore, Corey Morris should get five counts of 2nd degree murder and not the death penalty. The jury did not accept the argument.

Morris was sentenced to death in July, 2005.


In 2005, Juan Martinez was the prosecutor in the case of an Arizona State University star running back who shot a teammate to death in a parking lot. Juan was not moved by the idea of the popular Arizona Sun Devils running back making some bad decisions and a terrible mistake.

loren wade 2

In 2007, Loren Wade was found guilty of second degree murder and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Juan had another win under his belt. Most likely Juan doesn’t remember Loren Wade’s name, but he certainly remembers Brandon Falkner, who was shot to death for talking to Wade’s girlfriend. Falkner was the less well known football player who’s life was cut so short.loren wade







Then there was State v. Miller. William Craig Miller, 34, was a business owner who committed arson, burning down his own home for insurance money. He talked his employee Steven Duffy into helping him. When Duffy and his girlfriend, Tammy Lovell, offered to help the police prosecute him, Miller retaliated.

He killed Duffy, his eighteen year old brother, Lovell, and her two children ages 15 and 10. Imiller victimsmagine the ire in the conscience of Juan Martinez when the defense attorney implored the jury to “keep an open mind” and to remember that “things are not always as they seem”.

The defense attorney told the jury that life in prison is punishment enough and showed smiling baby photos of Miller. They said to remember that there was a human being inside the monster and that Miller suffered from bipolar disorder. Juan pounced on this sickening plea. What about Duffy, Lovell, her brother, and the children? Where is their mercy?

1234216_GThe jury convicted him of five counts of 1st degree murder and sentenced him to death in 2011.

For Juan Martinez, he will grudgingly provide a “why”. If the jury needs a “why”, he will find one to give them. But for Juan, there is no why. You took a life. We know you did it, and now it is time to pay for your sin. Many murders are straightforward. Juan Martinez doesn’t see that there are rare exceptions and sometimes there are possible explanations for something that seems like a horrible and vicious murder.

In 2013, in the Arias trial, Juan finds himself once again accused of prosecutorial misconduct.  Withholding from the defense text messages, Instant messages, and e-mails recovered from the cell phone of Travis Alexander in time for trial.  Thousands and thousands of messages were recovered and turned over in 2011 shortly before the anticipated beginning of the trial. The trial was delayed many times.

Other incidents of misconduct throughout the trial have been alleged by the defense, including suborning perjury in the testimony of the Medical Examiner, Dr. Kevin Horn. More recently, there are allegations that the prosecution tried to hide evidence found on victim, Travis Aexander’s computer.


Juan Martinez was in his usual element, berating defense witnesses, attempting to insult and humiliate the defendant and expert defense witnesses. Appealing to the emotions rather than the reason and logic of the jury, trying to shape the testimony of defense witnesses, cutting them off  before they can explain their answers, and questioning witnesses with cynical and aggressive questioning, even screaming, barking and snapping at witnesses in bulldog fashion.


jodi juanNurmi attempted to shine a “spotlight” on the actions of the prosecutor by making accusations of misconduct throughout the trial, an attempt to deceive the jury by making their unlikely order of injuries a scientific certainty which would highly benefit the prosecution’s case.

Finally, adding the nonsensical charge of 1st degree felony murder for fear that the jury would not believe the thin and mostly speculative evidence of premeditation. Whatever it took, Juan vowed to deliver justice for Travis Alexander and his shattered family.

juan katie wicktrial century

Many trial watchers praised Juan Martinez as a hero. In the media and also in social media, victim’s rights were enshrined and Juan’s devices were duplicated.

Witnesses were threatened and intimidated by mostly anonymous Facebook and Twitter avengers. Only one side of the story was presented. Anyone who said anything in support of the defendant, her attorneys and witnesses was castigated. Speculations were presented in the media and social media as fact. Exculpatory evidence was not allowed into the public domain. Any opinion in any way favorable to the defendant or the defense was ridiculed, blocked, and deleted. Posters were driven away by swarms of avengers and Facebook pages supporting Jodi Arias were deleted due to false complaints of “pornography”.

juan 2Currently, Juan has completed the Chrisman trial where a former Phoenix police officer is charged with 2nd degree murder, assault, and cruelty to animals after shooting a man and his dog in his home during a complaint of violence. Juan had an eye witness and some evidence, but there was a problem with missing evidence from outside the home favoring Chrisman.

chrismanJuan responded in a clever fashion. He suggested to the jury during closing arguments that Chrisman’s fellow officers may have hidden and destroyed evidence as well as altering the crime scene. No evidence was introduced in support of the accusation.Richard Chrisman2794230_G

The judge gave the jury instructions that what is said in closing arguments is not evidence and that lack of evidence should be seen as favorable to Chrisman. Even so, jury members were influenced by the contention that his fellow officers helped Chrisman by removing and destroying evidence.

chrisman trial 2Chrisman claimed that he shot the victim because he picked up a bicycle and threatened to assault the officer. Juan told the jury that “no gun residue was found on the bicycle”, proving that Chrisman was lying. In fact, no tests were conducted on the bicycle for gun residue. Juan Martinez had used a defense-style tactic to influence the jury.

Chrisman’s defense attorneys have complained that the Grand Jury was not given the evidence it needed to make a sound decision about whether the case should be brought to trial or what proper charges were to be brought.

“Chrisman’s lawyers filed a motion claiming the prosecutors in the case, Juan Martinez and Ted Duffy, omitted certain facts and ignored questions from the grand jury that indicted him”.

“Chrisman’s lawyers say prosecutors never told the grand jury about the victim’s alleged drug use or comments made by Chrisman to the first officer on the scene.”

juan crossIn the past, these actions were deemed as misconduct by Arizona judges. Now the exact same behaviors are not viewed as misconduct. Here is the response to such behavior in Arizona in a 2006 murder case:

“Mr. Duffy  (the prosecutor) did a lot of things during the trial that in my opinion were just outrageous,” said Raynak (the defense attorney).”

“Raynak says Duffy’s misconduct included introducing evidence after he was told not to, and making statements about evidence that simply weren’t true. Judge Arthur Anderson agreed, and after notifying the bar, Duffy was suspended for 30 days and given probation for a year”. In the Chrisman case, Martinez and Duffy had teamed up to deliver Justice for Danny Rodriguez and his mother who had called the police to begin with.

Although it seems that ex-officer Chrisman was very wrong in his actions, pepper spraying, tasing, then shooting Rodriguez to death, the jury should be given the sound evidence and be able to make a fair decision based on the evidence and testimony presented. The jury should not be unduly influenced by tricks and tactics designed to influence the jury outside of the facts of the case.

The prosecutors should not mislead the Grand Jury, try to keep out exculpatory evidence, and make arguments to the jury which mischaracterizes evidence. Expert witnesses can be discredited or have their opinions questioned, but character assassination, taunting and ridicule of qualified experts should not be allowed. The prosecution should turn over witness lists and evidence to the defense on time.

Iredondoeric shuhandler

In his upcoming case, State v. Christopher Redondo, Juan has been sparring with the judge. Redondo has already been convicted for the unrelated murder of Ernie Singh on June 24, 2009.  For this, Redondo was sentenced to life in prison. Now, Redondo is accused of shooting to death Gilbert Police Lt. Eric Shuhandler in January 2010.

Redondo was reportedly despondent in his cell and refusing to talk to defense counsel. Judge Barton requested that Juan Martinez attempt a plea bargain to life in prison and has ordered a competency hearing. Juan Martinez became incensed and convinced that the judge is trying to stop him from getting Redondo the death penalty.  Juan also feels Judge Barton is “sympathetic” to the defendant and should not be allowed to preside in the competency hearing. I would say she believes the Death penaty should be used judiciously.

He wants a stricter judge to find him competent to stand trial and to be eligible for execution. Juan knows Redondo is already serving life in prison for the killing of Singh. If he is found guilty, this means he will get no extra punishment for the killing of Officer Shuhandler in 2010. So, Juan feels that Redondo should stop playing mentally sick and should just face execution. In his motion, “Martinez accused Barton of being hostile toward the death penalty in three other cases”.

judgeBartonJanetThis can be directly traced back to State v. Miller. The judge in that case was Judge Barton. Miller was the man who killed 5 people as retaliation for testifying against him in an arson case. Even though there were multiple aggravators such as multiple murders, prior felonies, witness elimination, and the murder of two children. Juan still insisted in motions with the judge that the especially cruel, heinous or depraved aggravator be allowed to be used. The judge replied that there were plenty of other aggravators, and that the five were shot in rapid succession, making it difficult to prove significant mental suffering took place.

“Based upon the evidence presented, the state has not shown that any significant period of time elapsed between the killings and that any victim did not die instantly from the gunshot wounds,” Barton responded. “Rather, it appears that the victims were killed in rapid succession and none of them had significant time to contemplate their fate,” the judge said.

Why does Juan Martinez fight so hard to get an aggravator he doesn’t need to get the death penalty? The answer is precedent.

If this particular crime is seen as supporting the heinous, cruel, or depraved aggravator, then many more cases can claim this aggravator for gunshot murders due to the precedent that can be created in State v. Miller. This allows the prosecutors in Arizona to use the threat of the death penalty more often to force a plea in selected cases. This also widens rather than narrows the number of homicides that can be found eligible for the death penalty.

Judge Barton has presided over other death penalty cases where the sentence was death. Judge Barton has also refused to block death sentences from being carried out. So maybe Juan Martinez is being too tenacious in attacking Judge Barton for being reasonable and judicious in the application of the death penalty.


Update: Bryan Hulsey was found guilty of 1st degree murder of a Police Officer and was sentenced to death in the murder of Glendale Police Officer Anthony Holly on August 28th, 2014. Juan Martinez was the prosecutor. Hulsey threateningly gave the jury a standing ovation, of sorts.

juan 3It’s wonderful when you have a tough prosecutor who will fight hard for the rights of victims and victim’s families. It’s a blessing to have a tenacious prosecutor to protect society from serial killers, cop killers, rogue cops, mass murderers, and outlaw felony murderers with drug habits. The problem comes when you have people such as Scott Falater and Jodi Arias.

These are passive people with no criminal history or history of violence who are claiming that something irrational or not easily explainable happened resulting in a murder. These are cases where the jury really needs to decide on the facts and the evidence without the undue influence from emotional arguments, speculation, and deceptive tactics.

The code of ethics for prosecutors states:

(a) The office of prosecutor is charged with responsibility for prosecutions in its jurisdiction.

(b) The prosecutor is an administrator of justice, an advocate, and an officer of the court; the prosecutor must exercise sound discretion in the performance of his or her functions.

(c) The duty of the prosecutor is to seek justice, not merely to convict.

So to try to discredit an expert Psychological witness with 30 years experience because he made a math mistake, or to try to discredit a domestic violence expert with 30 years experience because of the title she chose for a speaking engagement, seems a little over the top. To withhold evidence and witness lists from the defense in order to put them at a disadvantage in a case where their client faces possible execution also seems over the top.

To try to convince the jury with argument based on speculation and emotion also seems to fall outside the bounds of the ethics of a prosecutor who is supposed to seek justice. To express the sentiment that the defendant is a liar and by extension, all defense witnesses are liars also, falls outside these bounds. To accuse defense witnesses of crimes without evidence and to use these accusations to try and prevent a witness from testifying is a violation of law. For Judges to tolerate these tactics is wrong on its face. Excessive screaming, sarcasm, taunting, and contempt violate the decorum of a capital case. So is purposely dropping evidence (the camera).

Do you want to defend a mass murderer? Neither do I. Do you want to defend a child rapist and killer or an outlaw drug induced spree killer? Neither do I. How far over the line would you go to prosecute the bad guy? If you go too far, the scales are tipped, and you start to become part of the problem. But if you are falsely accused of such a thing, you would want a prosecutor with ethics. You would not want a Grand Jury to indict you on false, misleading, or missing information. You would not want charges to be brought against you without probable cause. You would not want to be overcharged in the crime.

jodi 2You would not want a prosecutor withholding evidence that could set you free, manufacturing, destroying or mischaracterizing evidence, influencing the jury with speculation, or shopping for a hanging judge. Deciding whether a person lives or dies should be based on their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. People who think Juan Martinez is a hero like to ask “What if Travis Alexander was your son, your brother, or your friend?

But you also need to ask “What if Jodi Arias was your daughter, your friend, or your sister?”

us constitution

There is no “Justice for Yarmilla”, “Justice for Faylene” or “Justice for Travis”. There is only Justice for all. The balance between victim’s rights and the rights of the accused must be carefully maintained. Otherwise, we are only seeking a conviction. We will have left Justice far behind.


We warmly welcome any comments from anyone with any opinion.

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31 thoughts on “Spotlight on Juan Martinez”

    1. Fact!

      You get 10 points, because Julie is a beautiful name. You lose 90 points, though, because your rather abbreviated comment is not worthy of the many days of research that went into this article.
      Total = -80 points.

    1. I think Juan has an unhealthy obsession with the death penalty and getting the conviction at any cost.

      What need was there to bring up the battery acid injection, proven to be untrue 20 years before, just to get Robert Towery put to death?

      Was that necessary? We say no.

    1. Thank-You, Billy. We wrote that months ago. I think it’a a fair and accurate assessment of a prosecutor who let his hatred of defendants and defense attorneys get the best of him.

    1. We’re glad you enjoyed the site. We are thrilled to be one of few to present opposition viewpoints, something enshrined in the 1st Amendment rights of our Constitution. We will not be deterred and we will not be silenced.

      5th Amendment: No person shall ….be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.

  1. Although I personally am convinced that Arias is guilty, I think it’s awful the tactics prosecutors use to get a ” win” at any cost.

    .Many prosecutors have ambitions of running for higher office…such as Attorney General, and they want to get as many convictions as possible
    Just look at the infamous ” Norfolk Seven” case in Virginia, where they pleaded guilty to murder because the DA threatened to pursue the death penalty if they didn’t……years later every one of those men where exonerated, but not before they had their reputations and lives ruined.

    I don’t know about your claims about Martinez, but I believe he has a unique way of speaking for the victim. When you prosecute murderers for a living, you can’t wear kid gloves.
    The jury foreman in the Arias case expressed his disdain for the prosecutor, but he still found the guilty verdict. At the end of the day, he’s not the one on trial.

    1. He’s not the one on trial, you’re right. If he toned it down a few notches and stuck to the facts, he could be so much better.

      I understand people who feel that way, Robbie, here’s my problem:

      If you look at Juan’s past cases, you have Scott Falater, the sleep walking case. This was a strange killing that makes little sense. I think it’s very possible that Scott Falater did not know he was killing his wife. If I were Juan, I would be wondering if this case was correctly decided.

      Then there was Doug Grant. maybe he was guilty of 1st degree murder, but it couldn’t be proven and he got manslaughter. Even though Grant got only 5 years, he went on and on and on with complaints about Juan.

      You have Shawn Lynch, which was a slam dunk case, but Juan had to cheat and he messed it up and the case had to be retried.

      You have Wendi Andriano, Cory Morris, Dean Glick, and William Miller which were all slam dunk cases. Juan was there to make sure they got the death penalty, not to make sure they were found guilty.

      Juan had to go the extra yard in Miller and try to set a precedent for making an execution gunshot death qualify for the cruelty aggravator. That’s just insane and he has gone after judges just like his pal, Sheriff Joe.

      He had to go and try to convince the jury that Cory Morris committed necrophelia, which he may have done, but you just can’t prove it and his behavior was shocking.

      Big mystery who killed those women – they were buried right next to his trailer.

      You have David Wayne Carr, which should have never been brought to trial, but Juan tried to win it anyway for the DA, by cheating.

      Then you have the Chrisman case where Juan wanted 2nd degree murder and got aggravated assault. There are a lot of underhanded things in this case, and Juan blamed the police which is pretty low for a prosecutor to do.

      The stuff they did in this case, a prosecutor used to be suspended for doing, but Maricopa, Arizona changed that.

      Then he got the Arias case, another slam dunk case. Many people aren’t comfrotable with the verdict, no matter if Arias is guilty of M1 or not, mainly due to Juan’s tactics.

      If Arias wins on appeal, it will probably be on something that Juan Martinez did.

      It appears that Juan Martinez is not used in the more difficult, tough to win cases, which looks like somebody in the Prosecutor’s office is worried about his style and doesn’t want him on the more iffy cases. I think there’s a reason for that.

      His style is very interesting, but it’s not his aggressive style that’s the problem. He goes too far and it seems he will do anything to win his cases and he crosses the line time after time. It appears form a look at what cases he has been assigned to that his own bosses know this.

      You can be as aggressive as you want with the facts, being aggressive with speculation just appears cheap and dishonest.

      This is not good for justice and I hope to never see another court case like the Jodi Arias case.

  2. Rob get over yourself another reporter can come along and prove your “so call facts inaccurate” the point is she admitted killing another human being now she wants to live Travis also wanted to live. You get upset when people challenge your stories about Juan you also appeared protective of this natural born killer. How many countless men, women relationships follow this exact same pattern yet we don’t cut throats , stab, shot to head our ex, most people nurse a broken heart move on she cant get a pass for her looks are society may see this as a break up solutions kill, cry, show your private parts, anal sex, on, on sever a few years next!
    You can talk about Juan until you are blue in the face she will pay with her life end of story..

    1. Cynthia,these are facts about Juan Martinez, I challenge anyone to come here and say they’re not. I provided my e-mail and a Facebook page in case a person does not want to comment on this blog and I get mostly silence. This is because we have researched the facts.

      I do not get upset if anyone wants to challenge my views on Prosecutor Juan Martinez. I encourage it. We made this blog for prosecution supporters, not Jodi supporters.

      I am not protective of Jodi Arias anymore than any other defendant/convict with Constitutional rights. We do not say Arias is innocent or that she should go free ANYWHERE in this blog. Yes, murder is an inappropriate response to being dumped, IF that is what actually happened. We have demonstrated facts pointing to a possibility that there may be more than that to the events of June 4th, 2008.

      Do I think Jodi Arias is a “Natural Born Killer”? Not a chance of that. IMO. Thank-You for your comments, we do understand your views and we are happy to have your insight!

  3. Rob,
    I really enjoy your articles and I truly believe your intent is to see that all individuals receive justice and a fair trial regardless of innocence. Unfortunately, most people only see black and white and refuse to look at anything in-between. I stumbled upon this interview with Chris Hughes and have to admit that he is convincing. What do you think?

    He portrays Jodi as the one who wanted sex, initiated sex and Travis didn’t originally want to..start at around 13:00 minutes if you do not want to listen to the entire interview..

    I wanted to create a clip but I am not very computer savvy

    Thanks Rob

  4. Nicole,
    I have watched the entire Spreecast between veteran attorney Jeff Gold and Chris Hughes. Thank-You and yes, our interest is in a fair trial and seeing all the facts fully litigated in this case. So I would encourage everyone to watch this video. As far back as I can remember (48 hours interviews?), I have always thought Chris Hughes was a straight-up guy. I always thought that about Sky Hughes, also. I especially liked the way Chris emphasized that he and Sky felt that way about Jodi Arias at that time, and this is not just hindsight after their good friend was so horribly killed.

    This certainly puts a different light on things, as it tends to show that Jodi Arias, knowing Travis Alexander for around 3 months, and having been under the same roof with Travis for a total of only about 3 days, going to work on Travis and his friends from the jump.

    People do need to take a look at this and consider this. I have to think that after this time in February, when the Hughes cut it off with Jodi, that they have very little knowledge or insight into what happened happened over the next year or so. Travis took the relationship underground, especially from these two of all people. You can see where Chris is going with this, a widening spiral on the wheel of control, female style, until Travis “finally had her pegged”, and he was murdered for figuring her out and finally shutting her out. But would Jodi give up so easily? I could see it differently if he refused to talk or communicate with her for weeks on end.

    I also have to factor in that the Travis would always be presenting himself to the Hughes’ in his very best light. Could Jodi have known something about Travis the Hughes’ didn’t know? Even though there are some problems with hearsay, why then didn’t the Hughes’ play a much more prominent role in the trial? That’s real important testimony.

    Is Jodi Arias simply a very unique and seriously misunderstood person who was manipulated and abused herself, or did she come on like a freight train into and through the life of Travis Alexander?

    The Hughes’ and many trial watchers have promised that facts not allowed into evidence in this trial will be sure to come out after the trial to show the full scope and true nature of Travis, of Jodi, and of the crime. I’m happy to see all of that if and when it does come out. Until then, I will continue to have these gnawing questions about the full truth.

  5. Rob,
    Great insight! I agree with most of what you have written. The only problem I have with the interview and the Hughes’ point of view is the “sex”. Could Jodi have really been the initiator and manipulator. Travis uses very explicit terminology that most would say comes directly from porn. Some of the things he discusses in the phone call were things I have never heard before. I have a hard time believing that Travis was an inexperienced sexual being. I just don’t see that. Also, I was wondering if you could enlighten me on the accusations of financial gain? I have read in other blogs that Chris and Skye have financially benefited from this tragedy. Is there any truth to that? That would seriously change my opinion of their motives.

  6. Sky and Chris Hughes have benefited financially, but not because of Travis. Chris is way in the top echelons of Pre-Paid Legal and they went private in 2011, as Legal Shield, which no doubt enriched the Hughes’. I don’t see how The Hughes’ could benefit from Travis being killed. There’s really no basis that I know of for believing that.

    For me, it’s a toss-up about the sex, etc. You know, in that spree cast, Chris states that at the time of writing the e-mails there was no sex between Jodi and Travis, yet the e-mail says that Travis’ sexual fulfillment is coming from Jodi and he gets everything else from Deanna. He also states that Travis only had sex with two women, Deanna and Jodi. Yet in the interview, he said there were a variety of women before Jodi. So, it’s kind of a toss-up.

    Did Jodi throw an avalanche of sex at Travis because it’s the only thing way she could keep and control him? Or, did Travis use Jodi as an outlet to explore his sexual porn fantasies with as he looked for the perfect Sweet Polly Purebred Mormon mate? It’s a toss-up, like so many other things in this case. There’s evidence for both and maybe it was a combination, an incendiary combination.

    1. Good article! I think we fail to realize both Jodi and Travis as a maturity and emotional mismatch. If you look at their relationship it reminds me of high school with all the drama and all the make up to break up. Travis being Mormon and somewhat sheltered had the relationship mentality of a high school student (not bashing that at all I respect all religons and most of their beliefs)/Jodi was the total opposite she had previously lived with boyfriends who were not naive on how different things are in dating once you gain experience in intimacy and overall relationship maturity. Mixing Jodi’s expectations and Travis’ lack of understanding this was on a crash course when they met. Telling your friends someone is stalking you but you are still sleeping with them you just want to save face speaks volume and I personally did something similar in my early 20’s after my friends witnessing a chaotic fight I told them I didn’t talk to him and he was bothering me when the truth is we still lived together. I think Jodi failed to realize Travis was not as experienced as her and instead thought of him to be like Daryl- if Daryl or a different bf would have done similar things it would be a whole different story in how her actions would be received. Regardless there is not any excuse for murder or the brutality of the murder but as a society are lacking understanding and information.

    2. Did the Hughes not benefit by books they published & by the lies they told…through the trial & on the stand. ie; on the stand being inconvenient with the truth.

      PS. I like your impartial view especially about Jodi Arias. I hope Martinez is truly investigated on the two complaints so far against him re; Jodi Arias Trial…& that he gets his rightful comeuppance.

      1. Me too, Jojnjo, because I think the man is a person who should not be doing capital cases. I think he uses tricks and exaggeration to get the job done. I don’t know about the Hughes. I think they seem like good people and are really tangential to the Jodi Arias case.

  7. Rob,
    Thank you for answering my questions. Great points about the contradicting statements. Rob, are you and Amanda writers or are you in the legal field? I was just wondering because my son is currently in his third year of criminal justice studies and his studies are focusing on wrongful convictions and the privatization of prisons. He is researching different cases and is really excited by your blog and the innocence project. Sorry for the long post but I barely have a high school education and I am so thrilled to see my son so close to graduating from a wonderful college. As a mother, I am also humbled to see my son pursuing justice with a passion. Thank you again from the both of us! Amanda too, of course!

  8. Sorry Rob, but this seems quite biased. Juan did a fantastic job prosecuting that murderer! You failed to mention the shady dealings and lies of the crooked defense team. They were as bad as the murderer herself. Juan wanted nothing but justice for TA and his family that has had to relive his death over and over for 7 yrs.

  9. Can’t agree with you on that, jrube66. Justice for Travis ALexander happened with the verdict of guilty for 1st degree premeditated murder. Jodi Arias supporters disagree and say it was an over-charge and an unfair trial.

    It’s a myth that a Death sentence will be “Justice” but a Life sentence will not. That’s the media trying to create a story and that’s the short-sightedness / ignorance of the Alexander family. A Life sentence is actually much better for them, although they cannot see that through their grief at this time.

    It’s too bad the Alexanders have people like Kathy Monkman in their corner telling them that the Death Penalty is what they need to get in this case. The death penalty was and remains unachievable in this case. Monkman, whose sister was killed by two sick brothers out to scam the newlywed by killing her and stealing her life-insurance money, had lots of terrible experiences with the DP and the appeals process it creates. Yet she tries to schluff this outcome off on the Alexanders in a domestic homicide situation that had little chance of achieving the Death Penalty.

    So Justice is what they got, and had they gotten the DP, it would have been so much more than 7 years the family would have to keep re-living this tragedy.

    1. ‘It’s a myth that a Death sentence will be “Justice” but a Life sentence will not. That’s the media trying to create a story and that’s the short-sightedness / ignorance of the Alexander family.’

      I agree, Rob. Certain media outlets tried to create a big story out of sentencing by framing it as whether justice will, or will not, be served. Wrong and irresponsible.

      Regarding the Alexander family and other families who have been deeply affected by violent crime and homicide: if this crime had been committed in Canada, where the death penalty has been abolished, they would have had a very different experience.

      When a death sentence isn’t even an option, there is a greater chance that justice will be about seeking the truth, focussing on the facts, and on finding the defendant guilty or not guilty. And, if guilty, deciding on appropriate punishment (e.g., life in prison, or short/long-term incarceration).

      Of course, grief is grief, loss is loss, and anger is anger. None of that can be avoided; it always has to be processed and worked through, and there are no happy endings. But, when the state does not murder its citizens, the process is less torturous, I think, for the loved ones of victims. They needn’t become fixated on the idea that the convict HAS to be killed, that she MUST be annihilated. They needn’t stay up at night worrying about how death is THE ultimate punishment, and will it happen, or will they be “denied” this ultimate punishment?

      Seems to me that death penalty trials are a kind of psychological torture chamber for everyone involved. Especially for the victim’s family, but let’s not forget the defendant’s family and their terrible grief and suffering. Some people are excited by the prospect of a well-planned killing, clearly, but most normal people are ethically troubled by state-sanctioned murder, even if they support capital punishment. It’s just such a huge, and unnecessary, burden on our collective conscience.

      1. Right, and again, does anyone think that either Martinez or Nurmi would have gone to the extremes they went to if this was not a Death Penalty case? Nurmi, because his goal is to save a life, will stop at nothing. Martinez, because he must goad squeamish jurors to make the ultimate God-like decision, also stops at nothing to get them over that hump. So a fiasco and brutal ugliness is born and bred on the courtroom floor.

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