PALMDALE – Magda Bermudez twice screamed “Mama, help me,” before she was found on her bedroom floor, dead from more than 70 stab wounds to the throat, chest and head, according to court testimony.
The testimony came at a preliminary hearing Monday for 37-year-old Jose Martinez, who is charged with murdering his 49-year-old girlfriend on Sept. 20, 2014 at her Palmdale home.
Three civilian witnesses and a sheriff’s homicide detective gave testimony at the hearing, which took place inside an Antelope Valley courtroom.
Speaking through a Spanish interpreter, Maria Bermudez testified that she didn’t agree with the relationship between her daughter and Martinez.
“It wasn’t like they were meant for each other,” Maria Bermudez said.
On Sept. 20, 2014, Maria Bermudez twice called deputies to the home she shared with her daughter, Magda Bermudez, and grandson in the 38000 block of Third Street East, according to her testimony. She said she initially called 9-1-1 because she wanted both Magda Bermudez and Martinez to leave the home. Deputies responded to the call but ended up leaving, because Magda Bermudez closed the door so they could not enter, Maria Bermudez testified.
She said she was outside the home when she heard the screams – “Mama, help me!” two times – and then silence.
Maria Bermudez testified that she walked around the house to a back bedroom window, and that’s when she saw her daughter.
“I saw that she was lying down in blood,” Maria Bermudez testified. She said she called 9-1-1 for the second time, and she noticed her daughter’s Nissan Altima missing.
When deputies responded to the home, they forced entry through a locked bedroom door to get to Magda Bermudez, according to testimony by Detective Steve Rubino of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau.
“There was so much blood, you could tell she had been stabbed multiple times,” Rubino testified. He said Magda Bermudez was lying on the floor, and a knife was embedded in the floor next to her head. An autopsy later revealed that Magda Bermudez had suffered more than 70 stab wounds to her throat, chest and head, said Rubino.
After his girlfriend’s death, Martinez showed up at a relative’s home and said he and Magda Bermudez had gotten into a fight and he “had to do it,” a civilian witness testified Monday.
“He said, ‘she’s never gonna bother us anymore,’” the witness testified.
Martinez was arrested around 11:10 p.m. on Sept. 20, 2014, according to LASD inmate records. Days later, he was charged with murder.
Following his preliminary court hearing Monday, Martinez was ordered to stand trial on one count of murder with the allegation that he used a knife in the killing. 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, according to the felony complaint.
If convicted as charged, he faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison. He is due back in court Monday, Jan. 26.
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