Mur­der charge in Den­ver slay­ing

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Jesse Paul

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.


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