Alleged Cartel Contract Killer Fires Attorneys

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Jose Martinez (Photo: Lawrence County, AL Sheriff's Office)

LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – Accused killer Jose Manuel Martinez has fired his attorneys, according to a letter Martinez penned to Judge Mark B. Craig.

Martinez’s attorneys, Michael Terry and Christy Graham, were fired by Martinez on Nov. 18, according to the letter.

Martinez is charged with the March 4th shooting death of Jose Ruiz of Decatur. His bullet-riddled body was found just off an isolated roadway near the Bankhead National Forrest. But during questioning after his arrest, investigators say Martinez not only confessed to that crime, but also told them he had killed upwards of 30 people over the years as a contract hitman for several Mexican drug cartels.

Sheriff Gene Mitchell says investigators from Florida and California have questioned Martinez since his arrest and have cleared a total of 13 different killings thus far, including two in Florida and ten more in California.

Martinez has requested that Judge Craig appoint him a new attorney.