Visalia man sentenced to 42 years in prison for shooting and killing his girlfriend

'We are always going to miss our sister, but this is a stepping stone for us to start the healing process.'

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Saturday, June 25, 2022
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Anthony Martin was punished for the shooting death of his girlfriend, Valerie Martinez, in 2019.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Visalia family got justice in the death of their loved one.

The killer was too close to home.

Anthony Martin was punished for the shooting death of his girlfriend, Valerie Martinez, in 2019.

"After two and a half years of coming back and forth, we finally got what I feel is true. Of course, we will never get our sister back, but I feel happy with what he got," said her sister Julissa Gonzalez.

RELATED: New details in case of Visalia man accused of murdering girlfriend

Martin was sentenced Friday morning to 42 years to life in prison.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Adam Clare said domestic violence cases are challenging, and getting to this point took longer than anticipated because of delays amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but he feels justice was served.

Five family members read their final impact statements before Judge Reyes, creating an emotional and lasting impact for many in the courtroom, including Reyes.

"It's just tragic to hear all the people affected by the loss of Valerie. I think he set forth his reasons for the sentencing he was given, and you can tell it had an impact on him and made him want to make sure the community was protected and justice was being served by giving him an additional life term for the gun use," said Clare.

Martinez's family said they feel a sense of closure that visits to the courthouse are over.

"We are always going to miss our sister, it's never going to go away, but this is a stepping stone for us to start the healing process," said Valerie's sister Vanessa Gonzalez.

The family said they want to advocate and encourage people to help their loved ones experiencing domestic violence situations.

Martin will be eligible for a parole hearing after 25 years because he was younger than 25 when committing the crime.

If you are the victim of domestic abuse, or you know someone who is, there is help available 24/7. In Fresno County, call the Marjaree Mason Center at (559) 233-4357. In all other locations, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-7233.