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Former Wrestling Coach Faces Prison Time in Crash That Severely Injured Santa Maria Boy

John Gilbert Martinez Jr., 57, of Guadalupe, appears at a Dec. 16, 2015, arraignment stemming from an automobile accident that severely injured a 10-year-old boy. Click to view larger
John Gilbert Martinez Jr., 57, of Guadalupe, appears at a Dec. 16, 2015, arraignment stemming from an automobile accident that severely injured a 10-year-old boy. (David Middlecamp / San Luis Obispo Tribune photo)

A former youth wrestling coach who police say was under the influence of drugs when he choked a teenager driving him to the hospital and caused a rollover crash, is expected to be sentenced to four years in state prison next week after entering into a plea agreement.

John Gilbert Martinez, 58, of Guadalupe, was facing six felonies, including mayhem, assault, willful injury to a child and battery, as well as a misdemeanor charge of being under the influence of a controlled substance — prescription drugs and methamphetamine.

On Aug. 24, Martinez pleaded no contest to a single felony charge of battery resulting in great bodily injury, and the remaining charges were dismissed.

On Oct. 9, 2015, two teens and a 10-year-old were taking Martinez to a local hospital after suspecting he took too many pills.

The 16-year-old testified in a December hearing that Martinez grabbed the steering wheel as the vehicle traveled at approximately 65 mph on Thompson Road in Nipomo.

In the ensuing crash, the 10-year-old Santa Maria boy was ejected from the vehicle and suffered a collapsed lung, broken pelvis and a severed hand which had to be surgically reattached, according to prosecutors.

Martinez remains in custody at San Luis Obispo County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail and is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 12.

Matt Fountain is a reporter for the San Luis Obispo Tribune. Contact him at [email protected] or 805.781.7909.

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