Oceanside Man, 23, Sentenced to 21 Years for Killing Neighbor

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Diego Arturo Martinez, at the time of his 2012 arrest. He was acquitted in the murder case on July 1, 2014. Photo credit: 10News.com

An Oceanside man who fatally shot his neighbor after an argument was sentenced Monday to 21 years in state prison.

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Diego Arturo Martinez, 23, pleaded guilty in March to voluntary manslaughter in the death of 47-year-old Robert Robbins.

In July 2014, a jury acquitted Martinez of first-degree murder and deadlocked 6-6 on a second-degree murder charge in the Aug. 30, 2012, killing of Robbins.

Jurors also deadlocked on attempted murder and attempted manslaughter charges stemming from the wounding of Robbins’ girlfriend, Lisa Badgett.

Badgett testified in 2013 that she had been house-sitting in Orange County and returned to her Oceanside home just after midnight the day of the shooting to pick up Robbins and head back up the coast.

As she drove away, Badgett said she saw Martinez — their neighbor — holding a gun outside her truck window.

Badgett testified that she remembered Robbins yelling, “Go, go, go!” but said she couldn’t drive because she had been shot in the arm.

Oceanside police Sgt. Torino Valdovinos said the defendant told him that he thought Robbins was a troublemaker. Martinez said he and Robbins had argued earlier that evening and that Martinez had thrown Robbins out of his home, according to the sergeant.

Later, Martinez spotted Robbins leaving with Badgett, Valdovinos testified.

Robbins started to approach the defendant but got back into his girlfriend’s truck when Martinez flashed a gun, the sergeant testified.

Valdovinos testified that Martinez told him that he stood at the driver’s side window and the gun went off, wounding Badgett. Martinez said Robbins pointed something at him and he shot the victim, the sergeant testified.

City News Service

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