Investigation grows against possible hitman in Lawrence County - FOX 54 WZDX – Huntsville News, Weather and Sports

Investigation grows against possible hitman in the Lawrence County Jail

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HUNTSVILLE Ala. (WZDX) - An investigation into a murder in Lawrence County leads to multiple other murder investigations across the nation.

Jose Manuel Martinez was extradited from Arizona for the murder of Decatur man, Jose Ruiz. He is now also a suspect in numerous other murders over the last decade across the United States. Police say it is possible that Maritnez is a hit man.

"I think it will be in and around the drug trade," Lawrence County Sheriff Gene Mitchell said. He adds that Martinez may have been involved in gang activity. "It could be, and I hope we are able to develop that a little bit as we go along," Martinez said.

He also hopes a clear explanation develops for why he is wanted in murders across the United States, saying one thought is that Martinez was working as a hit man, "It is possible," Mitchell said.

Tuesday evening authorities from Florida questioned Mitchell in connection with a double homicide in 2006. Today investigators from California were in Lawrence County with questions regarding multiple murder cases there.

"I know they were successful. I will leave it at that," Mitchell said.

Based on Martinez's statement to Lawrence County investigators, Sheriff Gene Mitchell believes not all of his criminal activity has yet been revealed.

"There may be other states that come down the pike. I expect there will be," Mitchell said.

Martinez is being held in Lawrence County on first-degree murder charges. Martinez will remain in the Lawrence County Jail even if other states come forward or other charges are made, because they were the first agency to charge him.

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