UTAH STATE PRISON — A man who shot and killed his stepmother and 10-year-old half sister 23-years ago has been granted parole.
Nathan K. Martinez, 41, will be released from the Utah State Prison on May 1.
In 1994, when Martinez was 17, he shot and killed his stepmother, Lauren Martinez, and 10-year-old half sister, Alexis Martinez, while they were still in their beds. He was arrested three days later in Nebraska and charged with two counts of capital murder.
Martinez pleaded guilty to the crimes and was spared a possible death penalty in exchange. He was sentenced to two concurrent terms of life in prison with the possibility of parole.
During his most recent parole hearing in December, Martinez told the board that he was a different person today than the "ignorant, stupid teenager" he was in 1994. The board noted that in the past 23 years, Martinez has not had a single disciplinary violation while in prison and his drug tests have all been clean.6 comments on this story
During the same hearing, Ben Martinez, Nathan's father and Lauren's husband, addressed the board and advocated for his son's release. Martinez said over the years, he has had many heart-to-heart conversations with his son at the prison, and believes he is a changed man.
"The past is the past. There’s nothing you can do about it. You would never know this is the same individual that caused those problems. In visiting him, I’ve noticed a big change, mainly in his maturity,” he said.
"You can’t change what happened. But you can be a better man in the future."