Westminster man found guilty of murder in girlfriend’s shooting death

GOLDEN, Colo. — A Jefferson County jury found a Westminster man guilty of murder in the fatal shooting of his girlfriend last year. According to the First Judicial District Attorney’s Office, Ezekiel Mark Garcia, 25, was found guilty of first-degree murder after deliberation and tampering with evidence.

Garcia shot and killed his girlfriend, Destini Martinez, on March 7, 2018. It was Martinez’s 22nd birthday. On that day, Westminster police responded to the 5500 block of West 79th Avenue regarding a gunshot victim. According to the DA’s office, Garcia had called 911 but gave dispatchers false information about the shooting and provided a false name.

When officers arrived, they found Martinez on the bed with a gunshot wound to the head. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Garcia fled with the couple’s 5-year-old son before police arrived.

“Using cell phone technology, police were able to trace Mr. Garcia as he traveled westbound on I-70 to the Evergreen area. They located the child at Mr. Garcia’s mother’s home,” the DA’s office said in a press release.

Soon after Westminster officers found the child, they got a call from Thornton police saying Garcia had turned himself in.

According to witnesses, Garcia and Martinez had been fighting before the shooting.

At the trial, Garcia testified that he went to Evergreen to get rid of the murder weapon by throwing it off the side of the highway while driving down I-70.

The DA’s office said that Garcia and Martinez had an on-again-off-again relationship since junior high school and there was a history of domestic violence.

“He had threatened to kill her on multiple occasions, and he stabbed her in the leg with a knife five weeks prior to the murder,” the DA’s office said.

Garcia will be sentenced March 19 at 1:30 p.m.

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