The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Court affirms Clovis man's murder, rape convictions


Last updated 2/27/2021 at 4:29pm

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Lorenzo Martinez was convicted in 2018 after a four-day trial.

SANTA FE – New Mexico's Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a Clovis man's convictions for first-degree murder and raping the victim after she had died.

A Supreme Court news release stated:

"In a precedent-setting decision, the Court unanimously concluded that a murder victim need not be alive at the time of a rape for a conviction under the law against criminal sexual penetration (CSP). In the Clovis case, Lorenzo Martinez fatally stabbed the victim and an hour later (raped her) twice.

"In his appeal, Martinez contended that New Mexico law required a rape victim to be alive at the time of the crime for the criminal statute to apply. The Court disagreed. The case was the first time the state's highest court had addressed the legal issue."

Martinez was sentenced to life in prison for the slaying, requiring him to serve at least 30 years before becoming eligible for parole.

Records show Martinez had called police the night of Feb. 13, 2017, and told them he'd stabbed Mary Neal in the neck "like 18 times" because she was "irritating" him. He also said he then twice had sex with her body in the hours after her death.

The Supreme Court's news release also stated:

"In affirming the defendant's murder conviction, the Court determined there was sufficient evidence that Martinez was sane at the time of the killing. Martinez suffered from schizophrenia and expert witnesses for the defense and prosecution disagreed at trial whether he lacked control over his actions because of the mental illness."


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