Posted by: Media Relations
Since June 20th 2014, the Tulare County Sheriff's Department in cooperation with the Tulare County District Attorney's Office worked on the out of State extradition of Jose Manuel Martinez aka: El Mano Negro (52 years old). At the time of this process, Mr. Martinez was housed in an Alabama prison answering to one count of homicide. He later pled out to a 50 year sentence in Alabama.
With the assistance of the U.S. Marshal's Office, on September 3, 2014, Mr. Martinez was extradited back to California and booked into the Tulare County Adult Pre-Trial facility for a no bail arrest warrant. The warrant was for nine counts of homicide and one count of attempted homicide, meaning six counts of homicide in Tulare County, two counts of homicide in Kern County and one count of homicide and one count of attempted homicide in Santa Barbara County.
Mr. Martinez is set to be arraigned this Friday afternoon in Tulare County for the following charges. Through a mutual agreement, the Tulare County District Attorney's Office will be prosecuting the homicides from the counties of Kern and Santa Barbara as well.
The State of Florida and nine other States are also seeking out Mr. Martinez as a person of interest for homicides within their jurisdictions.
The following information comes from the original press release, put out by the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office (http://www.da-tulareco.org/Press_Releases/Press_Release-2014.04.08-A.pdf) :
On Tuesday April 8, 2014, Jose Manuel Martinez, age 51, of Richgrove, CA was charged with nine counts of murder and one count of attempted murder. He was also charged with special circumstance allegations of multiple murders, lying in wait, kidnapping, and murder for financial gain. These circumstances made him eligible for the death penalty.
Of the nine murder charges, six originated in Tulare County, two in Kern County, and one in Santa Barbara County, where Martinez was also charged with attempted murder.
In chronological order, the crimes charged are as follows:
October 21, 1980 – 23 year old David Bedolla of Lindsay, was shot while driving his vehicle to work with his wife, brother, and brother-in-law. The shooting took place between Lindsay and Strathmore.
October 1, 1982 – 30 year old Sylvester Ayon and a 17 year old were both shot while working on a ranch near Santa Ynez in Santa Barbara County. Ayon died from multiple gunshot wounds, while the teenager survived.
October 19, 1982 – 22 year old Raul Gonzalez of Earlimart was shot and stabbed multiple times. He was last seen at his home on the 19th, and his body was located two days later by ranchers east of Porterville.
April 8, 1995 – Domingo Perez, age 29 of Earlimart, was reported missing by his family. Nearly two months later, on May 23, his body was located in an orange grove just north of Richgrove. He had been shot multiple times.
February 14, 2000 – 56 year old Santiago Perez of Pixley was shot to death in his bed in the early morning hours of February 14. His four children, all minors, were in the home at the time of the shooting.
February 15, 2007 – 25 year old Jose Alvarado was located on a dirt access road just outside of McFarland in Kern County. He had been shot multiple times.
March 23, 2009 – Juan Bautista Moreno, 52, was located in an orange grove south of Elmo Highway near McFarland, in Kern County. He had been shot multiple times.
September 30, 2009 – 45 year old Joaquin Barragan of Earlimart was located on the bank of Deer Creek canal, east of Earlimart, by ranchers working in that area. He had been missing since September 27 of that year. He had been shot multiple times.
February 7, 2011 – Gonzalo Urquieta had been missing since February 5 of that year. The victim was located in an orange grove just outside of Richgrove, and had been shot multiple times.
For a graphic depicting the locations mentioned above, please contact the Office of the District Attorney at (559) 636-5494.