HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – A jury sentenced a Cypress man to life in prison and fined him $10,000 after convicting him of murder for stabbing a woman inside her home, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Wednesday.
Mauricio Navarrete-Torres, 23, was sentenced earlier this week for fatally stabbing 37-year-old Christine Martinez. During a home invasion, Navarrete-Torres stabbed the mother of four 37 times at her residence in the 19900 block of Great Elms Drive in northwest Harris County on February 3, 2017, according to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. Habitat for Humanity built the home for Martinez and her family, who helped construct it.
Martinez’s 20-year-old son told investigators he left the home around midnight that night to pick his younger brother up from work. When the pair returned home, they observed that someone had forced their way in the house. The brothers found their mother dead inside.
Harris County Sheriff’s Office detectives identified Navarrete-Torres, a friend and coworker of Martinez’s children, as the prime suspect in the case. Investigators found his fingerprints at the scene.
According to court records, Navarrete-Torres knew where valuables were because he had visited the home before as a friend of Martinez’s children.
“Ms. Martinez was a loving and caring mother who should have been safe in her own home,” Ogg said in a statement. “Burglaries and home invasions can easily turn fatal and those who violate the safety and privacy of our homes, like in this case, have to be held accountable.”