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Authorities in Colorado Say Witness Was Gunned Down Without Taking the Stand in Ongoing Murder Trial


Roxann Martinez

Authorities in Denver have identified the victim of a recent homicide as a witness in an ongoing murder trial. However, they say the link between the death of Roxann Martinez, 31, and any planned testimony appears to be purely coincidental.

Martinez was found dead Thursday at the 3700 block of South Wabash Street, police said.

The alleged motive behind Martinez’s death remains unclear. Cops did not describe a suspect and likewise did not provide additional information concerning the circumstances of Martinez’s death. They ask anyone with information to call Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at (720) 913-7867.

The medical examiner said she had been shot.

Police spokesman Kurt Barnes told Law&Crime in a phone interview that Martinez was a witness in the case against defendant Donthe Lucas of Pueblo.

KKTV-TV reported that Martinez was a prosecution witness.  She was listed as a so-called “endorsed” witness — that’s someone who was put on notice that she would be required to testify if and when called.

The Lucas trial is ongoing. He accused of murdering his missing girlfriend Kelsie Schelling. The victim was pregnant when she went missing on February 4, 2013.

Schelling had traveled from Denver to see the defendant in Pueblo. Lucas alleged texted Schelling’s mother that Kelsie was on her way to California to be with her ex-boyfriend, but the ex-boyfriend said he was no longer with Schelling, according to reporting from KRDO.

Lucas allegedly kept Kelsie’s mother in the dark about where he put the victim’s vehicle and about the fact he withdrew $400 from her bank account. The defense is trying to show that Lucas texted Schelling to contact her family. They also are arguing that the police investigation was flawed.

KCNC-TV described Martinez as a “star witness” in the Lucas case.

[Image via Denver Police Department]

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