For more than 12 years, they have waited for justice. On Thursday, a Lubbock family finally got closure.
Thursday afternoon a Lubbock County jury found Albert Martinez Jr. guilty of capital murder. Martinez beat, strangled and raped Eva Camacho Garcia. The 45-year-old's body was found outside a downtown Lubbock church back in 1996.
You could hear crying from both the Garcia and Martinez families as the jury foreman read the guilty verdict just before noon. For the Martinez family, the emotion comes as they lose a loved one to the criminal justice system. Bur for the Garcia's, it is a verdict they have waited more than a decade to hear. "I know that even though what he got is never going to bring her back. And that pain is always going to be there," Mary Ann Garcia, Eva's daughter said.
Minutes after being convicted of capital murder, Albert Martinez Jr. walked out of a Lubbock county courtroom Thursday with his head held high. It will be one of the last times he wears a shirt and tie as he prepares for a life in prison.
Meanwhile sadness continues for the daughter of the woman he killed. "It's just like losing her all over again, like it happened yesterday," Mary Ann said.
Mary Ann is Eva Garcia's oldest daughter. For the past week, Mary Ann and her five siblings, some of their children and friends listened as the state built its case against Martinez. Using testimonies and graphic pictures, District Attorney Matt Powell proved Martinez choked, beat and raped Garcia. The defense alleged that someone else was also involved. "The way the evidence plays out and the more I learned about it ,I'm more confident than ever that Albert Martinez had everything to do with it. Nobody else did it," Powell said.
More than 12 years ago, a church secretary found Garcia's naked body just before Sunday services in a flowerbed at then, Central Baptist Church in downtown Lubbock. Two days later investigators found blood that had previously been overlooked on an outside wall of the church. At the time, the technology was not available to link anyone to the crime. However, nearly nine years later police used DNA from that blood spot to charge Martinez, which was something else the defense called into question. "I think a jury returned a verdict in less than an hour that speaks volumes of what they think the work of the police department was," Powell said.
Marry Ann said, "It's going to bring some comfort knowing that at least somebody that killed her is going to pay for what he did."
"I didn't see any remorse even as I walked away from the stand but that's ok because I'm not asking for that," said Sabrina Garcia, Eva's granddaughter. "I just wanted him to know what we through and I hope he realizes what he put his own family through," Sabrina added.
"The hugs and kisses that she gave us. That's the way we are going to remember our mom," Teresa Jones, Eva's daughter added.
Powell tells us he chose to follow the wishes of the Garcia family and not seek the death penalty. On Thursday, the defense had no comment about the case. However, an appeal is expected. We're told Martinez will be transferred from the Lubbock County Jail to prison in the next few days.
Prosecution Rests In Capital Murder Trial
The State has rested in a capital murder trial, and the man accused admits his involvement.