Madera police announce arrest in fatal stabbing of 38-year-old father

Jessica Harrington Image
Monday, May 16, 2022
Madera police announce arrest in fatal stabbing of 38-year-old father
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Angel Martinez, 34, is accused of stabbing Andres Espejo, 38, to death on Sunday evening on Riverside Drive near Nebraska Drive.

MADERA, Calif. (KFSN) -- A man has been arrested, accused of stabbing another man to death in Madera Sunday evening.

Monday, a small memorial was growing as family and friends of the victim paid their respects.

"It hurts you know - because we didn't even get to say goodbye, you know," said Lily Lopez.

She identified the victim as her nephew, 38-year-old Andres Espejo.

The family who called Espejo "Chencho" set up a memorial near Riverside Drive and Nebraska Avenue where Espejo was killed.

"We're all hurting because of the way he had to go because he didn't deserve that. He really didn't," Lopez said.

Madera Police say Espejo was walking down the street when a suspect pulled up in a vehicle.

The suspect and Espejo got into a verbal argument that turned physical and Espejo was stabbed.

He died at the scene.

Family members who stopped by the memorial Monday say Espejo was a loving person with a big personality.

"He brought joy to everybody. I mean, whenever he was around, whenever he was around me, he made me smile, laugh, and whatever I was going through, he made me forget about it, you know," said Sarah Rios, Espejo's cousin.

He leaves behind two sisters and a brother as well as an 11-year-old daughter, Aundrea.

Family members say he often referred to her as "Little Andy".

He really loved her because that was his pride and joy.

Monday afternoon, Madera Police announced the arrest of 34-year-old Angel Martinez.

Authorities say two eye witnesses were able to identify him as the man who killed Espejo and a tip lead police to where Martinez was staying.

Investigators have not released a motive for the homicide, but say they don't believe this incident was random.

"We do know that the two knew each other and had prior conflicts," said Madera Police Department interim Lieutenant Mark Trukki.

Espejo's family members are now holding onto memories and hoping for justice.

"He was a good guy, a good sense of humor, good character. He didn't deserve this," said Rios.

Family members said they are grateful an arrest has been made.

This is the second homicide in Madera this year.