No Charges Filed against Visalia Teen

February 28, 2008 9:21:25 PM PST
Visalia Police say domestic violence caused a 13-year old boy to shoot and kill a man in self defense."That's when the gun when off. That's when I heard a pop."

Friends and neighbors placed candles outside this house on South Thomas Court where a case of domestic violence turned deadly.

Neighbor: "When I had come out here they were arguing very loudly I didn't understand what they were saying because they were shouting a lot."

This neighbor wishes to remain anonymous, but describes the chaotic scene.

Neighbor: "They were fighting and then I heard the gunshot and that's when I got scared and looked to make sure my son was not around."

Within minutes, police arrived to find 38-year old Joe Ray Martinez dead from one gunshot wound to the chest. And investigators say the 13-year old son of Martinez's common-law wife is the one who pulled the trigger.

Sgt. Ernie Villa, Visalia Police Department: "When officers arrived they did try to do first aid but he was deceased at the scene."

Sgt. Villa says at about 5:15 p.m., Joe Ray Martinez and his common-law wife and got into a physical altercation. When her brother intervened, Martinez struck him with a handgun. Villa says the fight moved outside and Martinez then pointed the gun at several family members.

Police say that's when the 13-year old came out from the house and shot and killed Martinez.

Police are not pressing charges against the boy.

Sgt. Villa: "We're treating as self defense at this point in time like I said we did submit to DA's office and they're going to review it and see if in fact they do believe its self defense."

Neighbors say this street is usually pretty quiet. But Police tell me just two weeks ago they were at the house for another domestic violence call between the couple.

Police say at the time the woman did not cooperate with police. They warn victims of domestic violence to step forward so a tragedy like this one doesn't happen again.


Load Comments