Ariz. man gets life for abusing, starving 6-year-old son to death who weighed 18 pounds

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jul2,2024

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (TCN) — A 28-year-old man will spend the rest of his life in prison for abusing and mistreating two of his young children, and starving one of them to death.

The Arizona Daily Sun reports a judge sentenced Anthony Jose Martinez to life for first-degree murder, as well as 68 years for two counts of child abuse and two counts of kidnapping for causing the death of Deshaun Martinez and harming another child. Those sentences will be served consecutively.

Martinez was convicted of the charges in May, while the child’s mother, Elizabeth Archibeque, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and child abuse in May 2023. She is currently serving a life sentence in prison as well.

In March 2, 2020, just after 12:30 p.m., Flagstaff Police Department officers responded to a home on North Monte Vista Drive after receiving a call about an unresponsive 6-year-old boy. Police rendered aid to the boy until medics arrived, but they, too, were unable to resuscitate him. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Police began investigating Deshaun Martinez’s death and noted his appearance didn’t correspond with his age because he looked malnourished. Flagstaff Police said there were “no obvious signs of trauma to the child,” but Anthony Martinez and Archibeque reportedly confessed to police that they kept Deshaun Martinez and his 7-year-old brother in a bedroom closet without food. The brother also appeared malnourished, according to police.

The parents claimed they locked the boys in the closet because “they were stealing food by sneaking out at night when the parents slept.”

They had reportedly been kept in the closet for about a month.

WSAZ-TV reports Deshaun Martinez weighed 18 pounds when he died.

Flagstaff Police said the boys’ grandmother, Ann Marie Martinez, “admitted she was aware of this condition the boys were kept in and admitted to disciplining the children when they stole food.” The Arizona Daily Sun reports Ann Marie Martinez pleaded guilty to lesser charges last week and will likely face 10 to 25 years behind bars.

The other children in the home were placed with the Department of Child Safety.

According to the Arizona Daily Sun, Coconino County Senior Attorney Michael Tunink likened Deshaun Martinez and his brother’s appearances to concentration camp victims.

Martinez reportedly said in a statement via his lawyer, “I want to start off by apologizing to my children for all the things I put you through. I love you all very much. I am sorry I neglected to be the father you all deserved. I wish that I could take it all back and do things the right way, and protect you from all of this.”

The note continued, “I am not going to ask you to forgive me for my actions. I just hope one day I will be able to make things right in whatever way possible.”

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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