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Man faces death penalty for killing 2 men over drug debt

Jose Manuel Martinez
Posted at 8:29 AM, Jun 14, 2019

OCALA, Fla. (AP) — A confessed hit man for a Mexican drug cartel faces the death penalty in Florida for killing two men over a drug debt.

The Ocala Star-Banner reports Jose Manuel Martinez was convicted Thursday of first-degree murder. Jurors will return next week to recommend execution or life in prison. All 12 jurors must agree for Martinez to receive the death penalty.

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Authorities say Martinez fatally shot 20-year-old Javier Huerta and 28-year-old Gustavo Olivares in November 2006 because of a debt over 10 kilograms of cocaine. Their bodies were found in a pickup truck near the Ocala National Forest.

Martinez's DNA was found on a cigarette in the truck. He was arrested in 2013 at the Arizona-Mexico border.

Martinez told investigators that he's killed more than 30 people. He's been convicted of 10 killings and one attempted murder.