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A look at life in prison for Christian Martinez

By: Melissa Gundersen

EL PASO, Texas -- Jurors got a preview of what life in prison without parole would be like for an El Paso man found guilty of brutally murdering a mother and daughter three years ago.

A former state prison employee, Frank AuBuchon, said he used to oversee where inmates were placed in prison and determine the proper security settings for inmates.

AuBuchon told jurors Monday that he reviewed Christian Martinez's mental health evaluations and jail records. He said out of five custody levels, Martinez would be considered a "G3," which is a medium-level security.

When prosecutors asked AuBuchon what an average day would be like for Martinez, he said Martinez would probably share a jail cell, be allowed to leave his cell for the majority of the day and work in either the kitchen or laundry room.

AuBuchon said if Martinez was evaluated and determined to have an insanity problem, like the defense claimed was the motive behind the stabbings of Amalia Flores, 58, and her daughter, Jovana Flores, 20, then security would be heightened.

If bumped to what's called a "G5," AuBuchon said Martinez would live in cell-block housing with double perimeter fences, there would be armed guards and 24-hour patrol vehicles.

AuBuchon told jurors regardless of the security level, he believes Martinez wouldn't be in a safe situation.

"My biggest concern with this defendant is his vulnerability toward tougher inmates. He's small, he's young, he's kind of pretty. He would be at risk," said AuBuchon.

If that's the case, AuBuchon told jurors, "I think there's a very high possibility he'll be assigned to the safe keeping housing."

Martinez's family said life in prison without parole is punishment enough.

His sister, Viviana Martinez, burst into tears and told jurors, "Please don't kill my brother."

Martinez's sister, brother, mother and grandmother all took the stand Monday and told jurors about a tough childhood.

Brother Jose Martinez said on numerous occasions his little brother watched their father abuse him.

"I would get pushed, punched, pushed against the wall -- abused. I was told I'm stupid and that I'm never going to amount to anything," said Jose Martinez.

Jose Martinez told jurors he and his sisters had the opportunity to leave, but when they say Martinez again, they claimed he was different.

"He was quiet, he wouldn't come out of his bedroom, he wouldn't talk to anyone. He was scared," said Jose Martinez.

During his family's testimony, Martinez did not look at them. He appeared emotionless, like he has throughout the entire trial.

Jurors must decide is they will grant the family's wish of life in prison without parole, or sentence Martinez to death.

Attorneys will present their closing arguments in the punishment phase Tuesday at 9 a.m. In the 210th District Court and then the jury will begin deliberating.