Recent Tragedies Provide Powerful Lessons for Teen Recovery Leader - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/29/2005

Recent Tragedies Provide Powerful Lessons for Teen Recovery Leader

NewsChannel 11 has learned 19-year-old, Fermin Martinez Jr., the man who attempted to burglarize a former Lubbock police officer's home yesterday, served out an entire probation term after previous run-ins with the law.

Martinez's rap sheet starts when he was 17; in July 2003 he was indicted for evading arrest with a vehicle and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. In July 2004, he was indicted for burglary of a habitation. During his latest attempted burglary Thursday, July 28, the home's owner, James Kimber, shot and killed Martinez.

While Martinez wasn't able to turn his life around, various support groups exist for those released from jail or juvenile detention so that they can change. The Teen Recovery Club is one option. It's where teens can discuss any problems such as addiction or burglary, and no adults are allowed. They take incidents, like the one involving Martinez, as examples to learn from.

Murders, Lubbock's most wanted and burglaries; for Teen Recovery Club Director, Aubin Alvarez those events that make headlines are his teaching tools. The burglary from Thursday is his most recent lesson. That's when retired police officer, Kimber shot and killed suspected burglar, Martinez.

"When I can show you the pictures and I can bring the reality that guess what; this can happen to you, that's the power in it," said Alvarez.

Martinez had been to jail for previous arrests and on probation, which does not shock Alvarez. Alvarez has coped with his own addiction and says unless you continue to work out your problems, you're likely to re-offend, just like Martinez.

"In counseling and with probation officers and stuff, if there's something you say, the kid always has his guard up and they learn that from the streets, from being out there ant that, hey, you know what, there's some things I can't say," said Alvarez.

The teen recovery club meets once a week. It's a time and place where you can talk freely. Through the club, Alvarez has helped several teens recover. About 40 kids a week attend.

In fact, NewsChannel 11 learned Friday that Thomas Mallory attended a meeting about two weeks before he died. "I didn't get a chance to talk to him, but he was listening a lot," said Alvarez.

16-year-old Mallory died in June after overdosing on ecstasy. Alvarez agrees the incident is tragic, but it's another major lesson.

"What happened to him was sad," said Alvarez, "but you know what was so powerful, when I was able to tell everybody in that meeting, you know, he sat there. I said, how many chances do you have left? Do you think when he sat there he knew he was going to be gone the next week?"

Alvarez said intervening in the teenage years is key to turning your life around.

The Teen Recovery Club meets Saturday's from 6pm to 7:30pm at 3420 27th Street in Lubbock. Alvarez has also helped several families with interventions.

For information on the club or interventions, call Aubin Alvarez at 544-5255.

7/28/05
Former Cop Opens Fire on Suspected Burglars
The incident started when James Kimber came home just after noon to find his garage door slightly open. The events that took place over the next couple of minutes would be life altering for the two burglars.

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