Murder charge in Denver slaying
Denver prosecutors have charged a man with firstdegree murder in the November slaying of 77-yearold Lewis Easterday, but say they still don’t know a motive for the killing in the city’s Cheesman Park neighborhood.
Pete Paul Martinez, 41, was arrested in the case on Dec. 3. The Denver district attorney’s office says he was identified as a suspect through DNA evidence.
Easterday was found fatally wounded in the driver’s seat of his vehicle on Nov. 22 near the intersection of East 13th Avenue and Marion Street. He was rushed to Denver Health, where he was pronounced dead.
According to an arrest warrant for Martinez, video surveillance of the intersection showed a dark-colored Ford Fusion parked along the curb the night of the killing.
The unidentified driver — presumably whom police believe to be Martinez — activated the vehicle’s hazard lights and then walked away.
The man later returned, and minutes later Easterday’s 1991 Lincoln Mark VII pulled alongside the Fusion, the warrant says. The Ford’s driver then appeared to retrieve jumper cables from his vehicle.
The Ford’s driver then went to the vehicle’s trunk and returned with an item he used to smash in the Lincoln’s driver-side window, according to the warrant, before reaching several times inside the Lincoln. The driver then went back to the Ford and drove off.
About 7:30 p.m. that night, Easterday was found bleeding inside the Lincoln from multiple stab wounds.
The warrant says police tested DNA on the Lincoln, finding it matched to Martinez. Colorado Bureau of Investigation records show he has a criminal record in the state dating back to 1995 that includes arrests on charges of driving under the influence, criminal mischief and burglary.
Martinez was arrested in Lakewood two days before Easterday’s death on suspicion of driving under the influence.
Police say he was behind the wheel of a gray, 2014 Ford Fusion.