Punishment trial begins for Texarkana car wash robber


New Boston, Texas–A jury of seven women and five men was selected Tuesday at the Bowie County courthouse to decide the fate of a man who robbed a Texarkana car wash where he once worked.

Edward Martinez, 22, got away April 4, 2015, from the Boomerang Car Wash with a little more than $3,200, according to a probable cause affidavit. Martinez allegedly placed an object to the back of the manager’s head at about 6:30 a.m. as he was opening the business.

The manager, believing the object pressing against him was a gun, opened the safe and handed over bank bags filled with cash. The robber attempted to tie the manager’s hands with plastic zip ties before taking off with the loot.

“(The manager) advised that the suspect’s voice sounded like an employee named Edward Martinez,” the affidavit states. “Martinez did not return to work nor did he call in since the robbery occurred.”

Martinez refused to return calls or respond to notes left on his door by investigators. On April 11, 2015, investigators caught Martinez at home in his apartment in a complex on Sowell Lane in Texarkana, Texas. When Martinez opened the door, officers smelled a strong odor of marijuana.

Martinez agreed to allow police to search his apartment. During the search, investigators found marijuana, a Regions Bank zippered money bags with Boomerang written on them, and zip ties similar to the ones described by the car wash manager.

Martinez pleaded guilty to robbery Monday at a hearing before 202nd District Judge John Tidwell but asked that a jury determine his sentence. Texarkana attorney Josh Potter is representing Martinez. Assistant District Attorney Katie Carter and First Assistant District Attorney Michael Shepherd are prosecuting.

Martinez is currently free on a $40,000 bail bond. He faces two to 20 years in prison but could receive probation if a jury sentences him to 10 or fewer years and recommends a probated sentence.

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