An Alcalde man has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder after reportedly killing his mother during an argument at her Española home off Winesap Road.

During questioning, Erick Martinez, 43, told Española police he and his mother, 74-year-old Cora Martinez, were arguing Sunday night over whether he could borrow her car, according to court records filed in Rio Arriba County Magistrate Court.

The argument escalated and the two began to push each other. He told police that when he returned later that night, his mother was dead.

When confronted about threatening text messages he sent to his ex-girlfriend of his mother’s beaten face, Erick Martinez admitted to changing his mother’s clothes and trying to throw water on her face to wake her up after the attack.

Family members who were in Cora Martinez’s home at the time of the attack told police Erick Martinez arrived at the home Sunday night and started arguing with his mother. Soon, they heard her screams. One family member said they covered their ears and prayed as the attack ensued, according to the affidavit.

When police arrived, they found Cora Martinez’s body lying on a bed. She had severe bruising throughout her body, the affidavit stated. They also found restraining orders against Erick Martinez in his mother’s bedroom.

In addition to the charge of first-degree murder, Erick Martinez faces counts of assault against a household member, aggravated battery, unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, tampering with evidence and resisting arrest, according to the affidavit.

Rio Arriba County jail records show Martinez was in custody there from April to June on a charge of aggravated stalking. He was then booked in the Santa Fe County jail from June 1 to July 8 for failing to comply with the conditions of his parole.

In the stalking case, Martinez allegedly disabled his mother’s vehicle, then returned the next day. Police found him hiding in her yard after she called 911 for help, according to the affidavit.

This story has been amended to reflect the following correction: An earlier version incorrectly noted the release date of suspect Erick Martinez from the Rio Arriba County jail. He was released June 1, not Aug. 1, and then was booked into the Santa Fe County jail from June 1 to July 8. A family member also said Cora Martinez was 74, not 77.

(11) comments

Tracey Garcia

Citizens must make themselves aware of what this DA is doing ir shall I say NOT doing. She has allowed this person to be out on an ankle monitor I feel for the family who have to love in fear knowimg he is out and an ankle monitor will not stop him from continuing to cause harm. This DA has allowed child rapist out on monit0rs and doesn't want to be bothered with crimes after 10pm.

Christine Lopez

My prayers to the family and community of Espanola that justice gets served. This pos conned my 18 yo daughter a couple of years ago. He NEEDS to be locked up forever!! He is a clear danger to his family and the community at large. If he,God forbid, ever gets released his son and aunt will definitely be in danger. This is so so horrible and heartbreaking.

I am so very sorry for this tragedy that the family must endure. It should have NEVER happened!!

Dennis Tim Salazar

For those that are wondering as there have been some comments questioning as to why the other people in the home didn't help or call the Police. If they could have they of course would have. Why wouldn't they, and try to help save her life???

The Santa Fe New Mexican could have been much more clear as to what transpired, I offered to speak about this and they never responded to me, to get more accuracy, as well as the horrible ordeal the others endured in the home for several hours. The other people in the home are just so lucky to be alive and suffered such a horrible traumatic experience for so many hours. Cora did not deserve to die, especially at the hands of her child, one who should always protect their parent. Also the ones in the home did not deserve any of this traumatic and heartbreaking event which will haunt them for the rest of their lives. None of them deserved any of this by Erick.

In that home was an elder lady who happens to be my Mother In-Law, she is Cora's twin sister and is legally blind, also a little child was at the home. Of course they would have helped if they could have. They were helpless, no way to escape and no access to a cellphone as the only person that had a cellphone was the one who passed away, and she had it with her. Erick stayed at the home through the entire night after he murdered his mom, they did what they could to stay alive! They came face to face with the murderer several times, had to answer questions he asked them and did what he said as he was a loose cannon ready to go off again. They were terrified for their lives and now are suffering severe trauma after this whole ordeal and losing Cora. Not able to eat or sleep as she keeps reliving this nightmare over and over again. Her twin dying at the hands of her own son plus fearing for her life and the child's life too. All she could do was pray hard and close her eyes, also praying and hoping it is just a horrible dream. Cora did so much to take care of her twin sister all the time as well as the child.

Cora's twin sister and the little one are so distraught that Cora died at the hands of her son and were so traumatized for several hours while he was there with them. We are so thankful the little one and her twin sister were able to live. When other family members who are my sister in-law and brother in-law got there hours later, after Erick left is when the police were able to be called 😔🙏😪

Now family, close friends and a community grieving as we are all trying to help them pick up the pieces and move forward from such a tragic event that never should have happened. Now Justice NEEDS to be served.

Tiffany Thomas

Prayers for this family. It’s so sad that justice wasn’t not served in the first place due to the negligence of our DA.

Mark Ortiz

I don't think Mary cares. She won. I don't know when the next election is but every time I think the next DA or the office is going to get better, it doesn't seem. I'll give her a slight edge over the incorrigible Marco Serna but she sure seems to be giving him a run for his money. I will say, I find it insane the amount of comments a story like a politician being denied the Body of Christ and on issues of family murders and domestic violence, it's crickets out here. Hopefully people are expressing concern by calling her office at 505-872-5000, faxing 505-827-5076, emailing

Chris Mechels

Seems like our DA failed twice; first by failing to prosecute, now it seems they are over charging, as they love to do. 1st degree murder seems a reach, and even if they convict, an appeal might succeed. This DA seems a Real Loser, like those before her. Part of the problem, serving under 4 administrations, Deputy DA Jennifer Padgett; sweet smile, rotten attorney. Padgett loves to over charge. Our Injustice system at work.

Khal Spencer

Failed to prosecute in a timely manner. But we need more red flag orders to satisfy this DA.

Patricia Greathouse

None of those family members hiding and praying called the police?

Nichole Leyba

Not that it is anyone's business, but no they were not able to call the police. My Grandmother and little cousin had no way of escaping or calling for help. They feared for their lives as well and did what they could to stay alive.

Mark Ortiz

Prayers to your and your family. Forget these speculators Ms.Leyba .

Dennis Tim Salazar

Thank you so much Nichole. We'll said!

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