Death penalty being sought in Sidney murder

Cheyenne County Attorney Paul Schaub says he will seek the death penalty against 53-year old Larry Martinez for the July murder of his ex-girlfriend, 30-year old Mandy Kershman.

Citing several of the aggravating factors laid out in the state death penalty law, Schaub said Martinez used "deliberate and premeditated malice" against Kershman, and was "previously convicted of a crime involving the use or threat of violence to the person, or has a substantial prior history of serious assaultive or terrorizing criminal activity."

Martinez has an extensive criminal record, dating back to arson and a probation violation when he was just 18. He's been convicted 11 times since moving to Nebraska in 1988...most of them in Cheyenne County...and has served multiple prison terms in both Nebraska and Illinois.

On December 19, District Judge Derek Weimer will consider the death penalty motion as well as a hearing from Martinez' defense to suppress evidence in the case.

Martinez is charged with 1st-degree murder and use of a weapon to commit a felony in killing of Kershman after she let him into a Sidney home. Police say Martinez shot Kershman because he was angry over a text message from her.

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