According to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, Renan Martinez, 30, was a high-risk parolee and fugitive when he was pulled over by San Jose police for a minor traffic violation on June 9, 2010. Martinez sped away as officers approached, made a U-turn, and barreled through an intersection, running a red light at about 60 miles per hour. The car was struck by another car that had been legally traveling through the intersection and crashed into a light pole. His girlfriend, 24-year-old Mayra Barajas, never regained consciousness before she died.
“Sadly, had Mr. Martinez simply looked into his rear view mirror, he would have realized that police were not pursuing him because his driving was too dangerous,” prosecutor David Boyd said.
“Renan Martinez had been reminded over and over since age 16, that dangerous driving could kill,” Boyd wrote in a court document. “(He) placed his own preferences and desire to live his life the way he wanted above human life, whether it be the unsuspecting public or his girlfriend.”
Martinez was convicted last year for second-degree murder. From the age of 16, he had committed numerous dangerous driving offenses, according to prosecutors, which included speeding, hit-and-run, reckless driving, and failure to stop at a red light. He already served a prison sentence for driving his car into two people on a bicycle that he suspected were rival gang members.