A Stanislaus County jury convicted a Turlock man Thursday on multiple felony charges, and because he had prior strikes, he is now facing a possible life sentence, according to the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office.
The jury returned guilty verdicts against Nicolas Martinez, 45, for residential burglary, grand theft of a firearm, being a violent felon in possession of a firearm, and being a felon in possession of ammunition.
The case against Martinez stemmed from an arrest made in August 2012. According to court records, Martinez broke down the back door of a home in Turlock and went inside to commit theft. After ransacking the house, Martinez tried to run from responding police officers who caught him in the act.
Upon arrest he was found to be in possession of a loaded firearm and ammunition taken from inside the residence.
Martinez told police he was high on methamphetamine at the time and did not know what he was doing.
Turlock Police were alerted to the burglary by the 17-year-old housesitter, who saw Martinez enter the property through a side gate.
Martinez had prior serious or violent felony ‘strike’ convictions including rape, forcible oral copulation, burglary and battery causing serious bodily injury. In 1995 he was sentenced to over 20 years in state prison for those offenses. Based upon his current offenses and his prior criminal history he now faces the maximum possible sentence of life in state prison under California’s “Three Strikes” law. Sentencing is scheduled to take place on Nov. 9.