In what may be the longest sentence handed down in Los Angeles in a misdemeanor domestic violence case, a North Hollywood man was sentenced Thursday to nearly five years in jail for beating his ex-girlfriend for 45 minutes.
Van Nuys Municipal Court Judge Lloyd M. Nash gave the unusually long sentence of 4 years and 11 months to Jose M. Martinez, who was convicted May 4 of four misdemeanor counts: spousal battery, false imprisonment, making threats to kill and resisting arrest.
Nash said Martinez's testimony that he never assaulted his 26-year-old friend was "completely unbelievable," according to Deputy City Atty. Jeff Harkavy.
"He was lying through his teeth," the prosecutor said.
Martinez, 25, had known the victim for about seven years, and the couple had a child who was 3 1/2 years old at the time of the Dec. 23 incident, Harkavy said.
The woman testified during Martinez's trial that the relationship ended about two years ago when Martinez was sent to state prison following a drug-selling conviction. Martinez was released six weeks before the attack, the woman said, and he occasionally slept on her couch.
The assault began after Martinez was awakened by a knock on a neighbor's door and became enraged because he thought it was the woman's boyfriend, the prosecutor said. The knocking was actually coming from a neighbor's door.
After obtaining a butter knife from the kitchen, Martinez stuck the knife into a pillow on the bed, narrowly missing the woman's head, Harkavy said.
Martinez then dragged her off the bed, pinned her to the floor and struck her about 30 times during a 45-minute attack, according to the testimony at the trial.
The woman said she was also choked three times and was barely able to remain conscious.
The woman was able to escape after convincing Martinez to stop the attack because the couple's son was sleeping in the apartment, according to her testimony. She called 911 from a nearby pay phone and returned to the apartment, where she received a phone call from Martinez, who said, "I'm going to come back and finish you off," Harkavy said.
The police arrived and captured Martinez after a half-mile foot chase.
Martinez was convicted just over three years ago of attacking the same woman. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail, authorities said.