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Leadville woman sentenced to prison for intentionally running over boyfriend

Maria Day
Maria Day(5th Judicial District Attorney's Office)
Published: Aug. 19, 2020 at 1:32 PM MDT
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LEADVILLE, Colo. (KKTV) - A woman is staring down 35 years in prison for running over her boyfriend four years ago with her ill mother inside her car.

The Fifth Judicial District Attorney’s Office says Maria Day, 59, was sentenced this week to nearly three dozen years in prison for the 2015 murder of 55-year-old John Alexander Martinez.

According to law enforcement, Martinez and Day had been driving back to Leadville with Day’s mother from a shopping trip in Summit County on July 8, 2015. At some point, Martinez got out of the car and was run down by Day’s Lexus. Passerbys found Martinez slumped against a concrete wall on the side of the road and initially thought he had passed out. Once people started arriving at the scene, Day called 911 “pretending to be remorseful and caring for her ‘boyfriend’ John (who she had just run over). She characterized what happened as an ‘accident,’ attributing the incident to a faulty, jumpy transmission,” the DA’s office said.

Martinez was still alive when first responders got on scene but later died at the hospital, having suffered severe injuries over his entire body. Law enforcement said there were tire tracks imprinted on his pants.

The only eyewitness to the crime was Day’s mother, who suffers from dementia.

“Day intentionally ran victim Martinez over after he had gotten out of the car to walk, leaving tire tracks on his pants,” the DA’s office said. “Investigators were able to piece together that Day’s car left the roadway by some 10 feet, hitting a concrete embankment in her successful attempt to kill Mr. Martinez. ... A vehicle inspection and maintenance history showed no such mechanical problems [such as transmission issues] could have caused Martinez’s death.”

Surveillance video from Day’s sister’s home showed Day leaving the scene, dropping their mother off, then trying to buff away the damage to the bumper. A witness reported seeing Day drive around the crime scene “eerily staring at Mr. Martinez’s body,” the DA’s office said.

Police arrested Day near the crash site. Despite claiming for the next three and a half years that the whole thing was an accident, she was found guilty of second-degree murder in February of this year. Additional charges include leaving the scene of an accident involving death, vehicular homicide/reckless driving, and careless driving resulting in death.

“After five long years, the family and friends of John Martinez are finally able to have some semblance of justice,” said Assistant District Attorney Johnny Lombardi and lead prosecutor in the case. “I want to thank the men and women of law enforcement across this state who spent countless hours ensuring Maria Day was held accountable for her brutal and hideous act of violence. Our hearts remain heavy for the Martinez family.”

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