Marion County Sheriff’s Detective T.J. Watts, holds a picture of Jose Martinez who confessed to killing Javier I. Huerta, 20, and Gustavo E. Olivares Rivas, 28, both of Pierson, FL, were discovered by a passer-by in the back seat of Huerta’s Nissan crew cab truck on State Road 19 on November 8, 2006. On February 27, 2013, lab results from a cigarette butt recovered inside the victims’ truck revealed a DNA profile of Jose Martinez, also wanted in Alabama for a homicide. (Ocala.com)
A man labeled by authorities as a hired assassin, who is wanted locally for two murders, told a Marion County Sheriff’s Office detective he has killed more than 30 people.
The Sheriff’s Office has a warrant for the arrest of Jose Manuel Martinez for two counts of premeditated first-degree murder in the slayings of Javier Huerta, 20, and Gustavo Olivares-Rivas, 28, whose bodies were found Nov. 8, 2006, inside a pickup on State Road 19 near the intersection of East State Road 40.
Detectives believe the murders were contract killings connected to a large amount of cocaine stolen during a home-invasion robbery.
Martinez, who will turn 51 Thursday, is in jail in Alabama on a murder charge in that state. MCSO Detective T.J. Watts traveled to Alabama to interview Martinez, who told the detective that he has killed more than 30 people, according to an affidavit attached to the arrest warrant.
“If I didn’t do the job, someone would have,” Martinez told Watts.
Martinez was captured while crossing the border from Mexico into Arizona. When authorities discovered the outstanding warrant from Alabama, he was put in jail in Yuma County and later was extradited to Alabama.
Martinez told authorities he hired himself out as a debt collector for drug cartels and others who were owed money from drug debts, and that often meant killing the debtors, McWhorter said.