Rudolfo Martinez guilty of second degree murder in stabbing death of Christopher Wray
LAS CRUCES, N.M. —
On Wednesday afternoon in Las Cruces, Rudolfo Martinez was found guilty of second-degree murder for stabbing and killing Christopher Wray in 2016.
Investigators said Martinez stabbed Wray multiple times in front of the Western Inn motel.
On Tuesday, witnesses testified in court and jurors saw a surveillance video that showed Martinez making stabbing motions toward Wray before Wray fell to the ground.
During opening statements, defense attorney Raymond Conley said Martinez was in fear for his life during the physical confrontation.
But the prosecution, Assistant District Attorney Kelly Herson said Martinez provoked Wray, which led to the deadly attack.
An interrogation video was also shown in court and, in it, Martinez is heard telling police he didn’t get into a fight and that he tripped on a curb, causing his head to bleed.
“I’m not denying that I didn’t kill that man but you know what? It was in self defense sir,” defendant Rudolfo Martinez said.
New Mexico Medical Examiner Ross Zumwalt testified that Wray was killed after being stabbed 25 times in the head, neck and chest.
On Wednesday Martinez testified that he had just met Wray the day he stabbed him during the argument.
It is still unclear what the argument was actually about.
Martinez said he saw Wray on the street and asked where he could find drugs.
Surveillance video from the motel’s cameras showed the fight in its entirety.
The video ended with Wray on the ground in a pool of blood while Martinez walked away.
During closing arguments Herson presented three different stories Martinez told along with a coded timeline of what Conley told the jury was self defense.
In the timeline Wray is seen walking way from Martinez before the argument and during the fight.
A jury found Martinez guilty of second-degree murder.
Sister of the victim, Misty Wray spoke with KFOX14 after the verdict.
“I want the full sentence. I want him do every day, he deserves more, unfortunately the law only allows the 15 years plus the enhancements.”
District Attorney Mark D’Antonio said he was pleased with the guilty verdict.
Judge Douglas Driggers motioned to sentence Martinez at a later date.
Martinez could face a maximum sentence of 19 years.