By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers
A traffic stop in West Texas on Tuesday led to the arrest of a 51-year-old Clovis man wanted by police in connection with the city’s third homicide this year.
Tony Martinez, 51, was arrested at a hotel in Lamesa, Texas, just before 6 a.m. CDT Tuesday, according to officials.
Martinez was wanted by Clovis police in connection with the May 31 shooting death of Hugo Ochoa, 32, of Clovis. Ochoa was found dead from one gunshot to the back at 410 Rencher St.
A murder warrant was issued Thursday for Martinez by the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
Martinez had altered his appearance when he was found, according to Lamesa Chief of Police Richard Garcia. The chief said Martinez had shaven his head and mustache, and looked nothing like a police photo circulated.
Lamesa is 150 miles southeast from Clovis, near Midland, Texas.
Investigators from the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office and Clovis Police Department went to Texas on Tuesday to participate in the investigation and begin the extradition process, according to District Attorney Matt Chandler.
Lamesa police said they learned Martinez was in their town when they stopped two Lubbock men for a traffic violation and discovered drugs in the vehicle. When the police discussed searching the suspects’ hotel room, they said there was an armed man staying at a local hotel with them and he was wanted for murder in Clovis, officials reported.
Following a telephone conversation with police coaxing him out of his hotel room, Martinez surrendered, Garcia said.
Police discovered two handguns, marijuana and other unidentified narcotics in Martinez’ possession, according to Garcia.
He is being held at the Dawson County Jail.
The charges against Martinez in Lamesa are felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of more than two ounces but less than four ounces of marijuana.
Garcia said Martinez was aware he was being sought for murder.
The next step for Martinez is extradition.