Vehicular homicide trial delayed

CNJ Staff

The jury trial for Joe Martinez Jr., accused of killing Bobby Lynn Sandoval while trying to flee Clovis police on July 4, 2003, has been postponed until Nov. 15.

Jury selection was slated to begin Monday in District Judge Stephen Quinn’s courtroom, but defense attorneys for Martinez had the trial continued due to a pending psychiatric evaluation.

“A psychologist is evaluating (Martinez) to determine if he had specific intent or knowledge for a leaving-the-scene-of-an-accident charge, and the report is not done,” District Attorney Brett Carter said.

According to police reports, Martinez was evading police when he crashed into eight cars shortly after the city’s 2003 fireworks display ended. The last crash killed Sandoval by pinning her between two cars in the 500 block of 18th Street.

Martinez is charged with vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident involving great bodily harm or death, among others, and faces up to 18 1/2 years in prison.