HOUSTON - A jury sentenced a man to life in prison after he was convicted of murder for stabbing a mother of four in her home that was built by Habitat for Humanity.
Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Wednesday Mauricio Navarrete-Torres, 23, of Cypress was sentenced Tuesday for fatally stabbing 37-year-old Christine Martinez inside her home in the 19900 block of Great Elms Drive in northwest Harris County on February 3, 2017. The house was built by Habitat for Humanity, and Martinez helped construct it with her family.
Court records state Navarrete-Torres was a friend and co-worker of Martinez’s children so had been there before and knew where valuable items were. As a result, he broke into the home and took several items in her son’s room, where investigators positively identified his fingerprint.
Martinez’s son told authorities he left the home around midnight to pick up his younger brother at work. When they got back, both brothers found someone forced their way into the home and stabbed their mother almost 40 times.
Assistant District Attorney Janna Oswald, who prosecuted the case with ADA Nick Toups, claims a life sentence was the right result.
"He stabbed her 37 times," Oswald said. "And we argued that he has not shown any real remorse or accountability for his actions. We are pleased with the jury’s decision and that the Martinez children have justice for their mother."
Navarrete-Torres was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday and incurred a $10,000 fine.
"Ms. Martinez was a loving and caring mother who should have been safe in her own home," DA Kim Ogg added. "Burglaries and home invasions can easily turn fatal and those who violate the safety and privacy of our homes, like in this case, have to be held accountable."