LANCASTER – An ex-con was found guilty Wednesday of first-degree murder for stabbing his girlfriend nearly 100 times at the Palmdale home she shared with her mother.
Jurors deliberated about 1 1/2 hours before convicting Jose Martinez, 39, of the Sept. 20, 2014, stabbing death of Magda Bermudez, 49, in Palmdale, according to Deputy District Attorney Scott Yang.
The jury also found true an allegation that Martinez used a knife in the commission of the crime.
The panel was the second to hear the case against him. The first jury deadlocked 11-1 — with the majority favoring guilt last year, according to the prosecutor.
Bermudez was stabbed 98 times, with 76 of the wounds inflicted in the neck and throat area while she was still alive, Yang said. Six of the wounds to her jugular vein and carotid artery were fatal.
“To me, it looked like it was complete overkill,” Yang said.
Authorities found the murder weapon lodged in the carpet next to the victim’s head, the prosecutor said. The victim’s mother, who was 84 at the time, discovered her daughter in a fetal position in a bedroom, Yang said.
The motive for the killing was unclear, the prosecutor said.
The defense contended that Martinez killed the woman in self-defense.
Martinez — who was arrested later that day — had prior convictions for assault with a deadly weapon and robbery in 2001 and extortion in 2010.
He is facing roughly 90 years to life in state prison, with sentencing set for June 7 at the Lancaster courthouse, the prosecutor said.
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