Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dad charged with 1st-degree murder of 5-year-old son during "custody battle" to be set free; boy died during court-ordered visitation (Maricopa County, Arizona)

Utterly disgusting that Arizona managed to f*** up this case so badly. Clearly the father was responsible for this boy's death; no one else is even suspected. Yet now this piece of sh** walks.

Notice that all this took place during court-ordered visitation, and that the father was battling the mother for custody. Very typical scenario of an abusive father who kills the children rather than lose control of them. Murder is the same to these guys as winning a custody battle, as it's all about hurting Mom. The kids are just collateral damage in their blood lust for power.

We last posted on this case in March 2012. See here.

Dad is identified as JEFFREY MARTINSON.

Man charged with the murder of his four-year-old son set to walk FREE from prison after nine years and $2.97M in taxpayers money

Jeffrey Martinson, 43, was arrested and charged with the murder of his five-year-old son Josh in August 2004 in Maricopa, Arizona

While he claimed he found the boy floating in the bath, an autopsy showed Josh died from an overdose of muscle relaxants

Following a drawn-out trial, which saw one guilty verdict thrown out because of a jury upset, Judge Sally Duncan this week dropped all charges, citing 'misconduct' from the prosecution

Martinson, who has been awaiting verdict for nine years, will be freed from prison at noon on Nov. 26

Because of the theory of double jeopardy, he cannot be re-tried for the murder of his son Defending the case has cost taxpayers over $2.97 million, nearly twice the amount paid for the defense of Jodi Arias

By Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 17:49 EST, 20 November 2013 | UPDATED: 17:49 EST, 20 November 2013

An Arizona judge has freed a man who was charged with the first degree murder of his son nine years ago.

Judge Sally Duncan cited 'a pattern and practice of misconduct' by prosecutors during the controversial trial of Jeffrey Martinson, 43, who was being held on a charge killing his five-year-old son, Josh, in 2004 while in the midst of a custody battle.

Duncan dropped all charges against Martinson and ordered he be released at noon on November 26, saying the prosecution team acted with a ruthless 'win-by-any-means strategy'.

Because of the theory double jeopardy, Martinson cannot be tried again on the same charges, according to UPI.

The body of Martinson's son Josh was found by a neighbor on a bunk bed in Martinson's Ahwatukee apartment in August 2004 during a court-ordered weekend visitation with his father. Whether Jeffrey Martinson killed his 5-year-old son, Josh, in 2004 may never be determined in a court of law because of prosecutor misconduct in trying his case.

Martinson claimed he had found the child floating in the bathtub and could not resuscitate him.

The neighbor also found Martinson unconscious in his bedroom with a plastic bag over his head and superficial cuts to his wrists.

Martinson claimed he was distraught and tried to kill himself but failed.

However muscle relaxants were found in Josh's blood, with a medical examiner ruling he died of a drug overdose.

On the night the boy died Martinson was in a custody dispute with his ex-wife.

Prosecutors argued it was a case of murder and attempted suicide.

In a 28-page ruling, Duncan said Deputy Maricopa County Attorney Frankie Grimsman charged Martinson with felony murder, on the grounds that Josh had died from child abuse inflicted by Martinson.

However, when it came to the court case, Grimsman tried Martinson as if he were charged with premeditated, intentional murder.

Grimsman had been warned by Duncan several times over the course of the trial not to treat the charge as premeditated.

'When viewing the totality of circumstances, the Court finds that during trial the Prosecutors engaged in a pattern and practice of misconduct designed to secure a conviction without regard to the likelihood of reversal,' Duncan wrote.

Martinson, 47, has been in jail for nine years awaiting a final verdict. Whether Jeffrey Martinson killed his 5-year-old son, Josh, in 2004 may never be determined in a court of law because of prosecutor misconduct in trying his case.

After several years of changing defense attorneys, Martinson finally went to trial seven years after Josh's death, in July 2011.

He was found guilty in November 2011, with the jury deciding there were aggravating factors that made him eligible for the death penalty.

But before the jury could sentence Martinson, a juror came forward accusing the forewoman of browbeating other jurors into a guilty verdict.

The verdict was thrown out in March 2012.

In fall that year, Grimsman told the judge that the original indictment and the intent to seek the death penalty had been dropped and asked that another judge and defense team be appointed.

In late 2012, The Arizona Court of Appeals ruled that Grimsman could indeed re-indict Martinson, unless Duncan found that Grimsman had done so in bad faith.

On Tuesday, Duncan made that finding, in addition to the finding of prosecutorial misconduct.

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office however still has options to appeal.

'We will review the Judge’s allegations as well as refer the record of the proceedings to our Ethics Committee and Appellate section for review,' County Attorney Bill Montgomery told The Arizona Republic.

'We will also review the conduct of defense counsel and that of the Judge for appropriate action.'

Defending the case had cost taxpayers $2.97 million as of last July, nearly twice the amount paid for the defense of Jodi Arias, who was convicted of first-degree murder in May following the 2008 stabbing and shooting death of her boyfriend, Travis Alexander, in his suburban Phoenix home.