VISTA (CNS) - A man who killed his roommate in Oceanside, then cut off her hands and feet after she threatened to tell police that he and his friends were robbing banks to support their drug habits, was sentenced Friday to 28 years to life in prison.
Joaquin Murrieta Martinez, 32, was convicted last year of premeditated first-degree murder in the February 2005 death of 24-year-old Janina Hardoy.
The victim's hands and feet were discovered in a Vista trash bin a few days after she disappeared, but the rest of her body was never found, even after a week of searching a landfill.
Prosecutors theorized that Martinez injected the victim with a fatal dose of heroin.
The defendant admitted injecting Hardoy with the drug, but said it was no more than her normal dose, said Deputy District Attorney Geoff Allard.
Hardoy moved to Oceanside in 2004 and opened her door to drifters -- including Martinez -- so they would have a place to sleep.
A female frequent visitor to the home on East Parker Street testified that Hardoy and Martinez, who may have had a semi-romantic relationship, often argued because the defendant had taken up with another woman at the residence.
The woman said Hardoy's money began to run out in early 2005 and she asked those living there to help out with the rent.
The roommates -- all heavy drug users -- started robbing banks and brought stacks of cash to the home, the woman said.
Vista Judge Joan Weber said it was "crystal clear" that Martinez directed everyone's activities in the house and decided when and how Hardoy would be killed and how to dispose of her body.
When Hardoy threatened to turn the defendant and others in, Martinez told one of them, "We gotta get rid of her," the judge said.
Martinez told a fellow inmate that he killed Hardoy and "chopped her up" and beat her with a baseball bat, the judge said in denying a motion for a new trial.
Martinez apologized to the family and said he had a witness "who can prove that I did not kill Janina Hardoy."
Allard told the judge that he hadn't seen a case as "chilling" and a defendant as "stone-cold" as Martinez in his 20 years as a prosecutor.
Hardoy's younger sister, Florelise, called Martinez "soulless" and a "shell of a human being."
The victim's grandmother, Nancy Flaherty, told the defendant that she hoped his life's journey would take him to the "depths of hell."
"I have never seen anything lower than you," the woman said.
Hardoy's friend, Lourdes Lombera, said the victim believed in Martinez "even though I asked her not to."
Another friend, Nancy Fillhouer, said in a letter that Hardoy "liked to believe the best in everyone."
"Her loss has left a tremendous hole in all of our hearts," she said. "His crimes against Janina were horrendous."
The victim's mother said even though she lost her daughter, she still has "deep, deep, unbearable compassion" for the defendant.
"He was once somebody's baby," Kathy Hardoy said, adding that she hopes Martinez's "heart of stone will be smashed wide open" one day.
Hot weather is expected again Tuesday throughout San Diego County though temperatures should be about five degrees below Monday's record-breaking heat.
Earthquakes strike without warning. Take steps now to prepare yourself, your home and your family, so that you can survive and recover from the next damaging earthquake.
The ex-husband of a retired Army captain from San Diego who went missing over the Labor Day weekend has been arrested on suspicion of murdering her in San Bernardino County, authorities said Monday.
Emergency crews are responding to a multi-vehicle accident on westbound State Route 78 near Interstate 15.
A pair of wildfires continue to burn across open terrain at Camp Pendleton Tuesday, sending plumes of brown smoke over northern San Diego County but posing no threats to populated areas, authorities reported.
A wildfire that blackened about 25 rural open acres in northeastern San Diego County over the weekend was 100 percent contained Tuesday, authorities reported.
California will cover the cost of tuition for first-year community college students under legislation Gov. Jerry Brown.
A week after fleeing wildfires, tens of thousands of Californians are drifting back into their neighborhoods.