Defendants Convicted of Murder, Setting Victim on Fire
DATE: October 20, 2022
CASE: Martitza Guerrero, Martin Chavez Jr. (Case #19FE015402)
PROSECUTOR: Principal Criminal Attorney Omar Singh, Homicide Unit
Martitza Guerrero and Martin Chavez Jr. were each convicted by a jury of the first-degree murder of Fabian Costilla.
On August 26, 2019, Guerrero and Chavez along with the victim traveled from Antioch to the Isleton area in a Ford truck. Surveillance video showed the defendants at a gas station pumping gas into the truck and then into a gallon sized container. The victim was beaten and stabbed inside the truck, stripped of his clothes and taken into a nearby shed. The victim was then doused with gasoline and set on fire. The defendants fled the scene leaving the victim engulfed in flames. The victim was able to run from the shed and extinguish the flames as firefighters arrived on scene. Before the victim died from his injuries, he was able to name the defendants as being the ones who set him on fire. The Ford truck was later located with a bloody shirt inside and the victim’s jeans in nearby bushes. Several hours later the defendants were located trying to flee the area.
An allegation that Chavez has a prior strike conviction for robbery will be determined at the sentencing hearing.
Chavez faces a maximum sentence of 50 years to life in prison. Guerrero faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison. Sentencing is set for November 18, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. in Department 40 before the Honorable Steve White.