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Alleged hitman Jose Manuel Martinez says he killed up to 40 people
World | incidents | 12:20, 10 April 2014 | 762

AKIPRESS.COM - A suspected contract killer charged in Central California with killing 9 people confessed to investigators that he carried out up to 40 slayings in a career spanning decades, Associated Press reported citing prosecutor.

Errek Jett, the district attorney in Lawrence County, Ala., said that Jose Manuel Martinez, 51, told investigators he carried out the crimes working as an enforcer for a drug cartel. Jett said they believe Martinez because of the details he gave investigators. Martinez was arrested last year shortly after crossing the border from Mexico into Arizona.

Martinez targeted victims in Tulare, Kern and Santa Barbara counties between 1980 and 2011. Investigators have released details of their case, saying six of the victims were killed in Tulare County, two in Kern and one in Santa Barbara. They ranged in age from 22 to 56, investigators said.

In addition to the nine murder counts, Martinez was charged in California with one count of attempted murder and the special circumstances of committing multiple murders, lying in wait and kidnapping. Four murder charges include the allegation he committed the crime for financial gain, the criminal complaint says.

The California charges would make Martinez eligible for a death sentence, if he is convicted.

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