Courtesy of the San Francisco District Attorney's OfficeMartin Martinez

Man sentenced to 25 years in prison for 2008 Halloween party murder

A 26-year-old San Francisco man who was convicted of murder for the stabbing death of Angelo Zuniga in 2008, and later attempted to have a witness killed, has been sentenced to 25 years and eight months to life in prison, the District Attorney's Office announced Friday.

Martin Martinez was acting belligerent at an Oct. 24, 2008 high school Halloween party in Ingleside before the murder, and tried to start a fight with two other partygoers.

Martinez became enraged when Zuniga started dancing with his sister, which prompted the violent stabbing that followed. Martinez then fled and ditched the murder weapon and his blood-stained shirt, but he was arrested hours later.

While awaiting trial, which began in June 2012, Martinez used his connections with Norteno gang members to kill a witness. But his coded messages from jail were discovered and additional charges were filed against him.

In the messages sent to get a witness killed, Martinez told his Norteno connections, “You need to smack him before my trial. I'm not coming home if he get on the stand.”

Martinez also attempted to have another witness lie on the stand in order to make the murder look like self-defense. In another message, Martinez wrote, “I need him to get on the stand and say that the dude pulled a knife on me, and when the light came on, the knife disappeared, dudes knife disappeared. I need to beat this case.”

Superior Court Judge Kay Tsenin ordered Martinez turned over to state correction after the sentencing Friday.

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