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Murder Trial Begins Involving The Father Of A Boy Who Died Of Starvation In A Flagstaff Home In 2020

The trial of the father of a six-year-old Flagstaff boy, who died in March of 2020, began Tuesday in a Coconino County Superior Courtroom. Anthony Martinez was indicted on charges of first-degree murder and child abuse in connection with the boy’s death. The boy, Deshaun Martinez, was found unresponsive at his home and was pronounced dead at the scene. His parents admitted to police that the boy, and his seven-year-old brother, were kept in the bedroom closet for about a month and denied food at times. They admitted the boys were being punished for stealing food by sneaking out of the house while the parents slept. Coconino County Medical Examiner Dr. Larry Czarnecki testified Tuesday, outlying the condition Deshaun was in after he died. He told the jury, who also saw pictures of the boy, that he suffered severe malnutrition and weighed only 18 pounds at the time of death. The boy’s mother, 26-year-old Elizabeth Archibeque pleaded guilty to first degree murder and child abuse last year and is serving life in prison plus ten years. Anthony has plead not guilty in the case. Martinez’ mother Ann, the boy’s grandmother is facing the same charges and will head to trial in August. She has also plead not guilty. Anthony’s trial will resume next Tuesday.

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