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Woman found guilty of beating elderly man to death on grounds of Colorado State Capitol

Stephanie Martinez.jpg
Posted at 5:29 AM, Nov 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-05 07:30:15-04

DENVER — A jury found a Denver woman guilty of killing an elderly man who was sitting on a bench on the grounds of Colorado’s state Capitol in May 2020.

After deliberating for three hours, a jury found 38-year-old Stephanie Martinez guilty of criminally negligent homicide and second-degree assault on a peace officer on Thursday, according to the Denver District Attorney's Office.

According to an arrest affidavit that detailed the attack and aftermath, Denver police responded to multiple calls of assault at 1:50 p.m. May 2, 2020 near the corner of E. Colfax Avenue and Grant Street.

Denver police, along with Colorado State troopers arrived at the scene and found George Black, 80, unconscious, unresponsive and bleeding from his face, according to the affidavit. He was transported to a hospital, where he died.

Denver police learned that the suspect was a Hispanic woman with brown hair, and that she was wearing a black coat and black pants with a pink bag at the time of the attack.

Officers located a woman, later identified as Martinez, who matched the description. She was detained and a witness identified her as the suspect in the assault.

Denver police talked with one witness who said he was walking in the area when he saw the suspect assaulting an older man, according to the arrest affidavit. He said the woman struck the man eight to 10 times in the face and head. She also spun the man around, causing him to fall and hit his head on the ground, the witness said. The witness said he then ran over to stop the assault and the woman cursed at him. He said he pushed her to keep her away from the older man, and she pushed him and struck his arm.

The witness said once he said he was going to call police, she grabbed a backpack and headed south on Grant Street.

He told police he never saw the elderly man hit the suspect.

He added that he had seen the woman around his apartment in the past and knows she has been aggressive with people, according to the affidavit.

Police then tried to speak with Martinez, who said she wanted an attorney, so the interview ended.

Around 6 p.m. that day, police obtained surveillance of the area, which showed Martinez assaulting Black, pulling him to the ground and striking him several times, according to the affidavit. The video showed a bystander intervene and the suspect leave.

Martinez was found guilty on Thursday. She will be sentenced on Jan. 7, 2022.