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DA Drops Capital Murder Charges Against Suspects Who Ran Detective Down With Car

San Antonio, TX – The Bexar County Attorney’s Office has dropped capital murder charges against two suspects accused of assaulting a veteran San Antonio police officer and then killing him by running him over with a vehicle.

The DA has charged them with a lesser offense of aggravated assault against a public servant instead.

San Antonio Independent School District Police Department (ISDPD) Detective Clifton “Cliff” Martinez, 50, was murdered on Dec. 21, 2019, after the suspects ran him over with a car and left him pinned beneath the vehicle outside the IHOP restaurant where he was working an off-duty security job, the San Antonio Express-News reported at the time.

His attackers, Jorge Lopez and Alfredo Martinez, fled the scene on foot but were apprehended shortly after Det. Martinez’s murder.

They were both charged with capital murder, and Det. Martinez’s family has been patiently waiting for justice for the past two years, KENS reported.

But just last week, the slain detective’s brother, Dennis Martinez, said he received a call from the Bexar County Attorney’s Office telling him the charges were being dropped replaced with new charges of aggravated assault against a public servant.

“They keep reducing the charges and that adds insult to injury,” Dennis Martinez told KENS. “We lost Cliff. We can’t get him back.”

Dennis Martinez said it has gotten to the point that the family has “no confidence that we are going to have justice in this case.”

“I don’t know if this was politically motivated or just an ease of the case, that they can get lesser charges through, whatever it is, it just doesn’t feel like justice is being done,” he said.

According to Dennis Martinez, the district attorney’s office said they cannot prove the suspects’ intent in the deadly attack, KENS reported.

Jorge Lopez and Alfredo Martinez face five to 99 years in prison if they are convicted of the aggravated assault charges they now face.

Det. Martinez was working an off-duty security job at an IHOP restaurant in the 700-block of Hot Wells Road when a fight broke out inside the restaurant at approximately 3 a.m. on Dec. 21, 2019, KENS reported.

After Det. Martinez got the suspects out of the business, at least two of them attacked him, knocking him to the ground.

The suspects then jumped into a vehicle and ran over the injured detective, leaving him pinned beneath the car, the San Antonio Express-News reported.

The suspects fled the scene on foot.

Det. Martinez, a 28-year veteran-of-the-force, was wearing his radio at the time of the assault, and managed to call for help, WOAI reported.

He died of his injuries at the scene, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

An IHOP San Antonio spokesperson said that Det. Martinez had been employed as a security officer for the restaurant for many years, KSAT reported.

The San Antonio Independent School District (ISD) said that Det. Martinez was a “highly-respected member” of the district’s police force.

In addition to his 28 years of service with the ISDPD, Det. Martinez also previously served with the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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