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Mental instability leads to double murder, say doctors

By: Melissa Gundersen
EL PASO, Texas -- Mental retardation and insanity are two things doctors said played a role in the stabbing deaths of a mother and daughter two years ago.
 
Christian Martinez, 23, once again sat in court with his head down.
 
On Monday, psychologist James Schutte told the jury he evaluated Christian Martinez.  Schutte said Martinez, originally testing at an IQ level of 63, is considered mentally retarded.  He also said that after running several tests, he found Martinez mentally unstable.
 
"At the time of the alleged offense, I do not think (Christian Martinez) believed that his conduct was wrong, said Schutte.
 
The judge asked Schutte how he determined Martinez was unaware stabbing Amalia Flores, 58, and her daughter Jovava, 20, more than 100 times combined, killing them, and then trying to commit suicide, was wrong.
 
"He told me he was hearing voices telling him to hurt himself and others, said Schutte. "He said he wasn't thinking if it was right or wrong.  He was following a plan."
 
Defense attorneys and doctors said that plan was suicide. Schutte said Christian Martinez has schizoaffective disorder and takes anti-psychotic medication.
 
He told the jury that oftentimes, problems like this are genetic.  Out of the jurys presence, Martinezs mother, brother and sister told the court his dad was abusive.  His mother, Guadalupe Martinez, said her son was sexually abused at just 5 years old.
 
"My husband would insult him, he would call him dumb, he told him he would do nothing in life, said Guadalupe Martinez
 
Martinez's brother and sister said they noticed something was off about Christian Martinez and would always ask him what was wrong.
 
His sister told the judge Christian Martinez came to live with her in San Antonio for five months because his parents needed help.  She broke down on the stand, saying thats when she realized how depressed he was.
 
Christian Martinezs family described him as a loner with odd behavior.
 
"I always thought he could wind up causing harm to himself or someone else, said Jose Martinez, Christian Martinezs brother.
 
With the defense calling witnesses and asking about insanity, the judge is not allowing certain testimony to go in front of the jury, possibly hurting the defense's argument.
 
The trial continues tomorrow morning in 210th District Court.
 
If convicted, Martinez could face life in prison or the death penalty.

Related:

In The Courtroom Blog: Christian Martinez capital murder trial: Defense calls witnesses

 

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