Santa Paula Gang Member Sentenced to Life Without Possibility of Parole

VENTURA, California – District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced that Mark James Martinez (DOB 12/02/82), of Santa Paula, was sentenced yesterday by Judge Derek Malan to life without the possibility of parole plus a consecutive 65 years to life in prison. Earlier this year, a jury found Martinez guilty of the crimes of first-degree murder and shooting at an inhabited dwelling for the shooting death of Norma Elizalde. The jury also found true the allegations that Martinez was an active member of a criminal street gang, that the offense was carried out to further the activities of the criminal street gang, and that he personally discharged a firearm causing the victim’s death.

On March 29, 2014, Ms. Elizalde was inside her home in Santa Paula when Martinez incited a confrontation with two rival gang members walking on the sidewalk outside Ms. Elizalde’s home.  After verbally challenging the rival gang members, Martinez invoked the name of his gang, got out of his car, and attacked them. During an exchange of gunfire between the rival gangs, one of the bullets from Martinez’s gun went through Ms. Elizalde’s home and struck her in the neck, killing her moments later. The case was investigated by Santa Paula Police Department.


The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office is the public prosecutor for the county’s 850,000 residents. The office employs approximately 280 employees including attorneys, investigators, victim advocates, and other professional support staff who strive to seek justice, ensure public safety, and protect the rights of crime victims.

Follow the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office on Twitter @VenturaDAOffice

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