Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Congratulations to Steve ("The Tick") de Lemos!

We call him "The Tick" because once Steve digs into a case he won't let go.

Jury gives Martinez 50 years for assault


Danny Delgado Martinez was sentenced Monday to 50 years in prison for a sexual assault involving his daughter in 2003.

A Comal County jury in the 207th District Court found Martinez, 36, guilty Friday of aggravated sexual assault, which in this case was a first-degree felony because Martinez had already served time in federal prison for prior convictions.

His daughter was 7 years old at the time of the assault, which took place at the home of his in-laws on Oct. 16, 2003.

Martinez’s wife, Julie Martinez, and mother-in-law Virginia Castilleja, both urged Judge Gary Steel last week that Martinez receive a long sentence so he could “learn his lesson.”

“He needs this so he learns,” Julie Martinez said. “He always got away.”

The jury heard evidence over three days before delivering a guilty verdict Friday. Martinez pled not guilty and defense attorney Patton Zarate of San Antonio posited in closing arguments that perhaps Martinez’s daughter was coached so he would not gain custody of the couple’s youngest child. Martinez accused his late father-in-law, Hilario Castilleja, of the assault, but family refuted the claim.

“My husband was a very loving man,” said Virginia Castilleja, wife of Hilario Castilleja, who died in 2007. “How dare (Martinez) accuse him, after all we have done for him.”

Testimony for sentencing began Friday and continued Monday.

The jury deliberated for about two hours Monday before coming to a sentence, said Steven de Lemos, who prosecuted Martinez for the district attorney’s office.

Martinez showed little to no emotion during the sentencing, de Lemos said. The defense called Martinez’s pastor and family to testify that he was “a changed man and had found God,” he said.

If his conviction is upheld, Martinez will serve at least half of his sentence in state prison before he is eligible for parole, de Lemos said. That will mean Martinez will be about 61 years old before he eligible for parole.