Murder charges filed in Tulare County against alleged contract killer

Published 04/08 2014 05:25PM

Updated 04/08 2014 05:38PM

An alleged hitman for the Mexican Cartel has been charged with 9 counts of murder. Jose Manuel Martinez is accused of killing 6 people in Tulare County. He's also suspected of 2 murders in Kern County and one in Santa Barbara. Martinez was arrested last year on a fugitive warrant out of Alabama, which is where he is currently behind bars on separate murder charges. According to reports, Martinez allegedly confessed to several murders and told investigators he was a debt collector for the Mexican Drug Cartel. Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux says Martinez started his murderous crime spree in 1980. The victim, a 23-year-old man from Lindsay. Other victims were killed in various rural parts of the county like Pixley and Earlimart. 2 people were also killed in Kern County and one Santa Barbara. Some of the victims were stabbed and others were shot to death. Sheriff Boudreaux says the arrest will bring closure to the victim's families. However, justice could take longer. The murder case against Martinez in Alabama is still pending and he could be wanted for two other cases in Florida. The charges filed in Tulare County make Martinez eligible for the death penalty.

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