STOCKTON, CA - On Monday, January 22, 2018, Ernesto Velazquez, 42, was sentenced to 187 years to life in prison. Velazquez was convicted for the murder of his girlfriend, Debora Martinez, who he shot and killed in her driveway in broad daylight on January 15, 2016. Following this incident, Velazquez immediately fled the scene, crashed her car, and carjacked an innocent bystander at gunpoint. He then went to the home of a family friend in the stolen vehicle. He proceeded to kidnap her and forced her to drive through Stockton at gunpoint for a few hours. She was ultimately able to jump from the vehicle, escape and call police. Police officers located the defendant the next day, based on anonymous tips. He was found in possession of the murder weapon.
A jury found Velazquez guilty in July 2017. He had two prior strikes convictions and had previously been to prison.
Message to victims of domestic violence:
If you are a victim of domestic violence, you are not alone. About one fourth of all homicides and aggravated assaults are committed by one family member against another. You have a right not to be battered or assaulted. Remember that physical abuse is a crime, even if the person who hurt you is your spouse, partner, boyfriend/girlfriend or otherwise known to you. It is your right to protect yourself from future violent incidents.
The District Attorney's Victim-Witness Program provides a variety of services for crime victims and witnesses to make their experience with the criminal justice system less traumatic and easier to understand. Our mission is to provide comprehensive and coordinated services to all victims of violent crimes with fairness, dignity, and respect; and to empower victims in their recovery from the effects of crime through crisis intervention and related support services. To speak with a victim witness advocate, please call (209) 468-2500.
Please visit our website to learn more about resources for victims of domestic violence.