The Rick Martin Case | Attorneys for Freedom Law Firm

The Rick Martin Case

County Could Pay For Murder Suspect’s Entire Defense

Rick Walter Martin was charged with 11 felonies related to the fatal shooting of Jorge Portillo as the two drove along Fry Boulevard on Sept. 28. 2020. Martin is being represented by Attorney Andrew Marcantel of The Attorneys for Freedom Law Firm.

No trial date has been set, but how soon the parties could be ready for trial is unclear, as defense attorney Andrew Marcantel is having trouble getting funds to pay for critical pre-trial activities. In December, Judge Laura Cardinal approved $4,600 for Marcantel to have an accident reconstruction expert review Martin’s case. The funds covered 20 hours of the expert’s time at $230 an hour.

“The nature of the vehicles’ interaction will allow Mr. Martin factual basis for a defense of self-defense or a reasonable mistake of fact,” Marcantel explained at the time. “Having an expert reconstruct the accident will prove material evidence necessary for Mr. Martin’s defense.

But last month Marcantel filed two memos with Cardinal in support of enforcement of the judge’s previous order. At issue is the fact one of Martin’s family members is currently paying for Marcantel’s legal services. But there are not sufficient family resources to pay for customary expenses associated with a first-degree murder case.

Marcantel pointed to long-established case law in Arizona which requires indigence to be based “on the condition of the defendant,” not on the condition of the defendant’s relatives.

“When a defendant is declared indigent, whether or not they have counsel retained by others, they are entitled to county funding for the assistance of an investigator or expert witness reasonably necessary to present an adequate defense,” the attorney argued. “This Court has already correctly recognized this important principle. However, this Court’s previously granted order for funds was not enforced.”

Marcantel is also pushing Cardinal for court approval of funding for 100 hours of investigator services to process information which indicates there are additional witnesses to incidents between Martin and Portillo not listed in police reports.

“For Mr. Martin to have access to all potentially exculpatory information, this case requires an experienced investigator to find and interview all witnesses,” Marcantel argues. “A full picture of the circumstances surrounding the offense is vital in this case, because of its serious and complicated nature.”

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