Joaquin Martinez was arraigned in the Vista courthouse on Friday, January 6, charged with attempted murder using a home-made weapon to attack another prisoner in the Vista jail.
Prosecutor Geoff Allard alleged that Martinez inflicted great bodily injury upon Drew M. last September by using a “shank” — the common term for sharp instruments inmates craft using whatever materials they can get their hands on.
Thirty-two-year-old Joaquin Martinez was in jail awaiting sentencing for a 2005 murder; in that case, a jury declared him guilty in May of 2010. Martinez has been in jail awaiting sentencing for that crime; the sentencing has been delayed by his attorney’s requests for a new trial, mental competency hearings, and other motions.
During the murder trial last year, defendant Martinez took the witness stand to testify in his own defense, and at one point he told the jury: “I have a habit of having things in my hand — ice pick, knives, guns.” The talkative defendant also described for the jury how he once made an ice pick from a broken knitting needle and a leather wrap for a handle. Prosecutor Allard has said he intends to use this previous testimony against Martinez in the jail-assault case.
In this new case, Joaquin Martinez is pleading not guilty to five felonies, including attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon by a prisoner, and possession of a deadly weapon at a penal institution. On January 7, superior-court judge Joan Weber ordered Martinez held on $2 million bail for this new case and set February 24 for a preliminary hearing.
Pictured: Joaquin Martinez
Photo credit: Nick Morris