Father Starved 6-Year-Old Son To Death, Jury Finds: REPORT

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Ilan Hulkower Contributor
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Anthony Martinez, a 28-year-old father, was found guilty Thursday by a jury of first-degree murder and other crimes associated with the death of his 6-year-old son, The Associated Press (AP) reported.

Arizonian authorities say that Martinez’s son died of starvation in 2020 after his parents punished him by locking him up for 16 hours a day in his bedroom closet for over a month, along with his older brother, after stealing food at night, The AP reported.

The prosecution said that an autopsy found that the boy weighed 18 pounds at the time of his death and perished from starvation, the outlet reported. (RELATED: Man Convicted After Admitting To Crime On Police Officer Job Application)

Aside from murder, Martinez was also charged with child abuse, kidnapping, and aggravated assault on the police, the outlet noted. He was found guilty on all counts by the jury, the Arizona Daily Sun reported. Elizabeth Archibeque, Martinez’s wife, was sentenced to life in prison without parole back in June 2023 after pleading guilty to first-degree murder and child abuse, The AP reported.

Joseph Carver, Martinez’s lawyer, argued that Marinez did not know what was happening with his children, and this negligence was not motivated by an intent to harm the children, the Arizona Daily Sun reported. Carver claimed Elizabeth was the dominant personality in the relationship and the one who made independent decision-making, and that Martinez just went along with it, the outlet noted. Carver cited comments by a doctor describing Martinez as “dissociative and chronically avoidant,” the outlet reported.

Senior Attorney Michael Tunink, the prosecutor, argued that there was no lack of food at home and that Martinez demonstrated that he was aware of the conditions imposed on his children when he was interviewed with police, the outlet noted.

Martinez will be sentenced on June 28, with the expected sentence being life imprisonment due to the conviction over the first-degree murder charge, the Arizona Daily Sun reported. Martinez’s mother, Ann Marie, is scheduled to go to trial on similar charges in August, the outlet reported.