The man the state says is responsible for the blunt-force trauma death and stabbing of his grandmother pled not guilty to one count of first-degree murder Friday.
Marcos Jerell Martinez entered a Pinal County Superior Court room Feb. 16 for his arraignment in front of Judge Lawrence Wharton.
Representing Martinez is Public Defender Paula Cook, although Martinez indicated the duration of her representation could be brief because he might be able to afford his own attorney in the future.
After the defendant’s plea, Wharton ordered Martinez to have “absolutely no contact” with family of Vicky Ten Hoven, his grandmother.
Shackled and dressed in a navy-blue jumpsuit, Martinez told the judge he had a question.
“No contact with the family of Vicky Ten Hoven?” he asked Wharton.
“That’s correct,” the judge said.
The Maricopa Police Department originally forwarded charges of second-degree murder, tampering with evidence and unlawful use of means of transportation soon after the Jan. 28 alleged homicide in Maricopa.
But a grand jury formally indicted Martinez on a single count of first-degree murder Feb. 7, alleging the suspect caused the death of Ten Hoven “with premeditation, intending or knowing that his (…) conduct would cause that death,” according to the indictment document.
First-degree murder is a class one felony and is punishable by death or life imprisonment, according to state law.
Martinez has been in custody since his arrest in Chandler on Jan. 30 where he was eventually extradited to Pinal County Jail. He remains in custody on a $1 million bond.
A pre-trial conference is scheduled for April 3 at 9 a.m. at the Pinal County Superior Courthouse.