By David Irvin: Freedom Newspapers
A Clovis man was sentenced to 14 1/2 years in prison Friday for killing a pedestrian in what officials say was an alcohol-related accident.
Joe Martinez Jr., 34, pleaded no contest to the charges against him in the fall and was adjudged guilty of homicide by vehicle, leaving the scene of an accident causing death and aggravated fleeing from law enforcement — charges stemming from a July 4, 2003, incident that led to the death of Bobbie Lynn Sandoval, 39.
Relatives and friends of Sandoval said Saturday the sentence gives them some closure. Melissa Equia, Sandoval’s sister-in-law, complimented the district attorney for personalizing the victim at the hearing and pressing for a stiff penalty.
Martinez’ attorney, Thomas Harden, could not be reached Saturday for comment.
According to a press release from the district attorney, Martinez fled from a Clovis Police Department patrol unit during a traffic stop the night of the annual fireworks show at Greene Acres Lake.
According to the press release, Martinez reached speeds upwards of 70 mph during the pursuit.
Sandoval and her family were at a party in the 500 block of West 18th St. when Martinez’s truck slammed into a vehicle that Sandoval was standing behind. She was killed in the collision.