For release on January 25, 2013

Angela Bernhard
Deputy District Attorney
Homicide Unit
(408) 792-2820


A San Jose three-striker was sentenced to 95 years-to-life in prison today for repeatedly stabbing his father and – three months later – shooting a gun at a police officer who was trying to arrest him.

Joe Paul Martinez, 37, pleaded guilty Oct. 23, 2012 to the premeditated attempted murder of a peace officer. Martinez has spent most of his adult life in prison for convictions that included the drive-by shooting of a group of men. He had been out of custody for only two months before he attacked his father.

“Over and over, this defendant has proved he is a dangerous menace,” Deputy District Attorney Angela Bernhard said. “This sentence ensures that he will never again be free to hurt residents or the officers who protect us.”

On July 13, 2010, Martinez punched, kicked and stabbed his father numerous times at the father’s home, leaving him for dead on his bedroom floor. Although he had been stabbed six times in the arms, head, neck and armpit, the father survived.

Charged with attempted murder, the defendant disappeared.

On Oct. 21, 2010, San Jose Police officers – on the lookout for the car because it had fled a traffic stop - found Martinez sleeping in his red Nissan Altima on Tampa Way.

Officers blocked in his car with theirs and tried to roust him. The defendant sat up, but did not obey commands and kept his right hand hidden. At one point, he tried unsuccessfully to ram his way out of his parking spot. An officer approached the car from the passenger side, trying to make the arrest. The defendant quickly raised his right hand and fired two shots from a .45 caliber handgun at the officer. Both shots missed. The officer crawled to safety, as several other officers at the scene returned fire. The defendant was hit numerous times and taken to the hospital for treatment.

Investigators found two handguns in the car. A loaded handgun magazine was found in the defendant’s pockets, along with a half-ounce bag of methamphetamine.

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