Jury selection to begin in man's trial for E.V. convenience store death - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

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Jury selection to begin in man's trial for E.V. convenience store death

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Posted: Thursday, August 11, 2011 11:47 am

In less than a week, jury selection is scheduled to begin on a death penalty case involving a 36-year-old Chandler woman who was stabbed and beaten to death inside the convenience store she owned at an east Phoenix apartment complex four years ago.

Jury selection for Jesus Arturo Martinez will begin 10:30 a.m. Aug. 17. His trial is scheduled to begin on Aug. 25 in Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Paul McMurdie’s courtroom.

Arturo Martinez, 24, who was living at the Peaks at Papago Park Apartments, 815 N. 52nd Street, is facing the death penalty on charges of first-degree murder, third-degree burglary, robbery and kidnapping in the death of Nisay Kang, 36, the morning of May 25, 2007.

Arturo Martinez, a permanent legal resident from Mexico and a former resident of the complex whom Kang knew and often gave merchandise to when he couldn’t pay, is accused of killing the woman, a wife and mother of a young daughter. He has pleaded innocent.

A witness saw Arturo Martinez leaving the store carrying a purse that morning. When police served a search warrant in the apartment where Arturo Martinez was staying with friends at the complex, they found Kang’s purse with a pair of bloody scissors inside of it and $498 in blood-stained currency, according to the police report.

County prosecutors plan to show aggravating factors in the case such as the heinous manner of the crimes, Arturo Martinez’s prior felony convictions including marijuana possession in 2005 (a case for which he still had an outstanding warrant) and that he had planned to monetarily benefit from robbing Kang’s store, according to a county court document.

Arturo Martinez told Phoenix police he “was drugged up” and went into the store to “take her money,” according to a Phoenix police report. Arturo Martinez admitted to stabbing Kang with a pair of scissors after beating her with his fists inside the mini-mart at the 768-unit complex near the Scottsdale-Tempe border, according to the Phoenix police report.

Kang died of sharp and blunt-force trauma to the head and neck, according to the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The initial pool of prospective jurors will consist of about 300 people before they are interviewed in groups and pared down to 46 finalists during the four-day jury selection process.

Arturo Martinez has been held without bond at a Maricopa County jail since the crime.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-6533 or msakal@evtrib.com

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