A Bowie County jury sentenced a 20-year-old New Boston, Texas man to 15 years Tuesday for a 2013 gunpoint break-in.
Lorenzo Martinez and two other men pushed their way into a second-floor apartment July 13, 2013 at the Oaks Apartments in New Boston at about 2:30 a.m. The men mistakenly believed the occupants had a package they wanted, testified witnesses in Martinez’ trial Tuesday.
A jury of seven women and five men were chosen Monday to hear the case. Martinez plead guilty to burglary of a habitation with the intent to commit assault with a deadly weapon. He asked that the jury decide his punishment.
Michael Robinson testified the sound of his girlfriend, Savannah Smith, screaming at about 2 a.m. Michael Robinson said he fell to the floor after being punched and hit in the head in the hallway of the two bedroom apartment he and Smith shared with his mother, Connie Robinson.
Smith testified that she was sleeping when Michael Robinson’s cousin, a 13-year-old boy she was babysitting that night, woke her. Smith said the boy, who had been sleeping on the living room sofa, told her someone was knocking at the door and he thought it was his father.
But it wasn’t. Smith said that when she opened the door and stuck her head out to see who was knocking, one of three men stuck his foot in the door and then they all entered. Martinez was pointing a gun at Smith while she stood in front of the teen she was babysitting.
“I said, “Don’t shoot him he’s just a kid,’” Smith testified.
Connie Robinson said she plead with the three men not to shoot her family as Martinez aimed his gun at them. Connie Robinson said she noticed something familiar about one of the intruders, who had their faces covered.
“When I said, ‘Landon is that you,’ they all took off,” Connie Robinson said.
Connie Robinson said she recognized Nicholas Landon Freeman because he often visited a relative who lived in the apartment complex. The third man was later identified as Zachary Pistolis and the assailant who struck Michael Robinson.
Michael Robinson testified that the men had come to the apartment during the day before the attack accusing him of having a package that belonged to him. Michael Robinson said he had no idea what the men were talking about and asked them to leave.
Freeman is currently serving a 10-year term of probation for his part in the break-in. Charges against Pistolis are still pending.
During the trial, the jury heard testimony about Martinez assaulting his mother and a traffic stop where a syringe and drugs were found in his car.
During closing arguments, Public Defender Will Williams asked the jury to sentence Martinez to probation, arguing that he has a substance abuse problem and needs treatment, not prison.
“He didn’t use that gun. We don’t even know if it was loaded,” Williams argued. “Don’t throw him away for something he did when he was 18.”
Assistant District Attorneys Kelley Crisp and Lauren Richards argued for a hefty prison sentence.
“What kind of person holds a gun on a child? What kind of person beats their mother,” Crisp argued. “He was out on bond for a first degree felony, driving around with needles and drugs in the car, assaulting his mother…Probation? That is ridiculous.”
Martinez will have to serve at least half of his sentence before becoming eligible for parole.