MODESTO, CA -- The man suspected of killing five in a Modesto home earlier this month was in court today for a pretrial hearing for separate homicide charges related to the death of a toddler in the fall.
Martin Martinez is charged with the death of 2-year-old Christopher Ripley, who suffered serious head injuries last September and died two days later. The boy was the son of Dr. Amanda Crews -- who was in a relationship with Martinez at the time -- and her former husband. Crews left the boy in the care of Martinez. It took a forensic specialist a period of time to determine the boy was a victim of homicide, and not an accident.
Earlier in July, Martinez was taken into custody as a suspect in the deaths of his own mother, Crews, two of her children and another child.
At the time of his arrest, he pleaded not guilty to the charges he killed Christopher Ripley.