Martinez’s brother, wife react to verdict
Oscar Martinez and Abby Martinez will never see Saul Martinez again, but they and the other members of the Martinez family were able to have some closure last Friday when one of those accused of killing him was found guilty.
Speaking to The Gazette following the sentencing of Leticia Ramirez to 15 years for manslaughter, Oscar Martinez, Saul’s brother, and Abby Martinez, his widow, shared their thoughts about the verdict.
“First of all, I want to thank all the law enforcement that was involved in this investigation. I want to thank them for their service and their time,” Oscar Martinez said.
Of the verdict, he said, “Honestly, there is no verdict, no punishment, that could bring my brother back. Luci will not get her dad back. My mom and dad will not get their son back. I will never get my brother back, but it serves as a little bit of closure to know all the facts, to know that she [Leticia Ramirez] is guilty.”
Oscar Martinez said the jury did its job to the best of its ability.
“At least we know now that she did kill him, and that justice has been served,” he said.
Abby Martinez, who was pregnant at the time of Saul’s death, said it won’t bring her husband back, but she was partially satisfied with the jury’s findings.
“I feel like no time, honestly, is going to be enough time for us to feel like it’s enough,” she said. “I’m definitely glad that she did not get a ‘not guilty’ [verdict]. I’m glad she did get some punishment, although I would have liked for it to be more.”
The couple’s nearly 18-month-old daughter, Luci Joyce Martinez, has been her focus since her husband died Sept. 24, 2017.
“We had her name chosen before…we chose that name together. We had a name for a girl, or a boy and that day was supposed to be our gender reveal,” she said, describing the toddler wiggling and demanding her attention in the background during the phone interview.
“She’s silly, funny, sassy. I definitely see features of his in her,” Abby Martinez said.
Sadly, she said once Luci gets old enough, she will have to find a way to explain to her why her dad is not here. Coming to terms with the loss of her husband has had to take a back seat to raising their little girl.
“It’s very hard, of course, but I have a daughter to raise, so I’ve got to do that, but it’s definitely been hard,” she said.
Support from family – the Brummels’ and the Martinez’s – has helped get her through the past two years.
“Very much, on both sides,” she said.
Oscar Martinez, who works for Lowe’s Distribution Center in Mount Vernon, was seven years older than Saul, and, like his brother, played four years of football in high school, graduating from Pittsburg High School in 2003. He said he and Saul would help their father take care of his racehorses on his ranch, and they had a special bond.
“Growing up, he started playing sports when he was four years old, playing soccer and baseball, so I was very heavily involved in his sports and coaching him,” he said. “It was more like a father-son relationship that me and him developed. It was something special, something neat, an indescribable bond that we had.”
Abby Martinez, a hair stylist at Treasured Moments in downtown Pittsburg, said she and Saul were high school sweethearts, graduating as PHS Prom King and Queen in 2011. Saul played football there and went on to play at Trinity Valley Community College and Texas A&M-Commerce.
During the victim impact statement she read in the courtroom, she said Saul was going to kick a football to reveal the gender of the baby at a party they had planned for later that Sunday.
“[Sept. 24, 2017] was supposed to be one of the happiest days of our lives finding out that our first child was a girl. Instead, I find out that he’s dead and we had to find out the gender of our child in the parking lot of the hospital,” she said.
In the statement directed at Ramirez she said, “You want to tell me my family ruined your life. I want to tell you that you ruined our families’ lives. You took away a son, brother, friend, and one of the most important, someone’s father. A father that my daughter never got to meet all because of you.
“You’re still living and breathing and have been living out your life for the past two years when I had to totally start my life over and raise a child by myself without her father who would be here if it weren’t for you.”
Oscar Martinez told The Gazette he never knew of his brother using drugs, dismissing claims by Ramirez that he used cocaine regularly.
“He was an athlete his whole life. He’s always been on a strict workout regimen. I know for a fact that he wouldn’t risk his football scholarship, or his job. He joined Cypress Bank right after he left school, so [having cocaine and marijuana in his system] was one of those things where he could have been introduced to it that night by peer pressure,” he said.
Recalling his brother’s life, Oscar Martinez beamed with pride.
“We’re so proud of everything he accomplished. Going to play college football is a blessing in itself, but the ability to study and get your degree for free on scholarships because of your academic ability, that was just another blessing,” he said. “So, we’re very proud of all that he achieved in his short life.”
That includes what was a budding career in the banking industry.
“After getting his business degree, he came back and went to work for Cypress Bank. They gave him an opportunity to be a loan officer and he enjoyed his job,” Oscar Martinez said.
Martinez said there were a few times that his brother would come home bummed out because he couldn’t help someone with a loan.
“He took it to heart. I could tell there was something wrong and he would say, ‘Ah, I just had a bad day.’ There are people who really need money who would come in there for a loan, and through factors, you just can’t sometimes, and that really got to him. He wasn’t able to help people as much as he would have liked. He was just that type of person.”