A squatter who murdered a property owner has been sentenced to 21 years to life in prison, the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office said Thursday.
Superior Court Judge Gary Paden sentenced Jose Luis Mata-Martinez, 30, of Orosi, for the stabbing murder and the attempted murder of the victim’s wife two years ago. Neither victim was identified in the District Attorney’s Office news release.
On March 1, Mata-Martinez pleaded no contest to second degree murder and attempted murder without premeditation, and admitted using a knife.
Late on Jan. 31, 2015, Mata-Martinez was squatting in a trailer on the victim’s property in Cutler. The victim heard noises inside the trailer, went to check on them and was attacked by Mata-Martinez, who stabbed him several times with an 8-inch knife, the District Attorney’s Office said.
His wife tried stop the assault – she was 25, news reports said – but was stabbed in the wrist. A neighbor called 911 and the female victim told deputies where to find Mata-Martinez, who was hiding at the scene.
The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Chelsea Wayt and investigated by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office and Rodney Klassen of the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigations.