PALMDALE – A 37-year-old Palmdale man accused of stabbing to death his 49-year-old girlfriend in September has pleaded not guilty.
Jose Martinez on Monday pleaded not guilty to murdering Magda Bermudez, and he denied the special allegation that he used a deadly weapon — a knife — during the killing. Martinez remains jailed on more than $2 million bail, and a preliminary court hearing is set for Jan. 12. At the conclusion of that hearing, a judge will decide if there is enough evidence against Martinez for the case to go to trial.
On Sept. 20, around 1:30 p.m., Magda Bermudez was found dead at her home in the 38000 block of Third Street East, Palmdale. Bermudez was found inside her bedroom by her mother, and the 49-year-old had suffered multiple stab wounds to the upper torso, authorities said.
“According to witness statements, the victim was fighting with her boyfriend earlier in the day. However, when deputies arrived, the boyfriend was no longer at the scene,” homicide detectives said in a news release.
Martinez allegedly stabbed Bermudez numerous times and then left the house in her vehicle, according to prosecutors.
Martinez was arrested around 11:10 p.m. on Sept. 20, and days later he was charged with his girlfriend’s murder. The felony complaint alleges that Martinez has prior felony convictions for two separate counts of assault with a deadly weapon and one count of robbery in 2001 and extortion in 2010.
If convicted as charged, Martinez faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison.
Previous related story: Woman stabbed to death in Palmdale, boyfriend arrested