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Texas teen charged with capital murder of friend’s mother

February 11, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Texas teen charged with capital murder of friend’s mother

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A teenager from Texas, who was charged with capital murder after he fatally stabbed his friend’s mother, remains in custody without bail at the Harris County Jail.

On Thursday, 18-year-old Mauricio Navarette-Torres appeared before Judge Kelli Johnson of the 178th Criminal Court. She heard allegations that the teen reportedly burglarized the residence of 37-year-old Christine Martinez, when he stabbed her to death last Friday. Two of her sons discovered the remains of the mother of four at approximately 2 a.m., February 3th, Click2Houston reported.

Martinez’s 20-year-old son told authorities that he went to pick up his younger brother from work at midnight and when they came home, they found their mother’s body stabbed multiple times in the bedroom of her Houston-area home, which was built by Habitat for Humanity in Northwest Harris County.

Detectives discovered a bedroom window open, and it seemed that the alleged assailant forced his way into the house. Martinez’s sons also told police that valuables were missing from the house. Navarette-Torres was a friend and co-worker of one of the victim’s sons, and they told authorities that the man had been to the house before and knew where the family kept their valuables. However, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office has not yet revealed a possible motive for the killing.

Previously, Navarette-Torres did not appear at his probable cause hearing, KPRC reported. On Thursday, he came into the courtroom handcuffed, sporting an orange jumpsuit, and showing virtually no emotion. Authorities said the teen admitted to the killing in a statement.

His defense lawyer, Emily Detoto, however, argued otherwise, presenting him as a shy kid who lives with his mother and is a collector of comic books.

Detoto said: “I’m hesitant to call a statement a confession until I’ve seen it or heard it and even if it was a confession, which I doubt it was, if it wasn’t properly obtained and he didn’t willingly waive his rights, it wouldn’t be admissible anyway.”

Detoto added that the suspect is a “scared 18-year-old kid accused of murdering his friend’s mother,” which she asserted he did not do. She told journalists if Navarette-Torres is convicted, the court will not likely seek the death penalty.

Navarette-Torres remains in custody at the Harris County Jail and is being held without bail on a charge of capital murder. His next court appearance is scheduled for April 11th.

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