Thursday, April 19 , 2018, 12:32 pm | A Few Clouds 62º

 
 
 
 

Local News

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.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.


Maestro, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Debit

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >