Johnston County man takes plea deal in November triple killing

Johnston County News

BENSON, N.C. (WNCN) – A Johnston County man received three consecutive life sentences after pleading guilty in connection with three killings in November. 

Armando Martinez was arrested and charged in the shooting deaths of three people on Nov. 12.

District Attorney Susan Doyle said Armando Martinez took a plea deal on Thursday that gave him three consecutive life sentences. 

 Armando Martinez accepted the plea deal in exchange for prosecutors not seeking the death penalty. 

Doyle said a dispute over drinking wine led to the shooting. Armando Martinez confessed to the killings after he was arrested. 

Tina Martinez, Armando’s wife, spoke to CBS 17 in the wake of the killings. 

Tina Martinez said she was at her Woods Crossroads Road home with her family on around 9 p.m. She told CBS 17 she saw her husband of 10 years go into their bedroom and come out with a gun.

“He just started shooting. I froze. I stood there and I froze. I don’t know why I couldn’t save my kids,” Tina Martinez said.

Investigators confirm four people were shot. Three died at the scene.

Tina Martinez said Armando shot her daughter, Pamela Ramon, and Pamela’s boyfriend, Ledis Lopez.

Then she said he turned the gun on her. That’s when her daughter, Jessica Aguilar, intervened.

“She said, ‘Don’t, don’t. Don’t shoot my mommy.’ And I just heard all kinds of shots and she grabbed herself. She said, ‘Mommy I’m shot,'” Tina Martinez said.

Tina Martinez said as Jessica’s husband, Jose Aguilar, tried to usher his own young children out of the house, Armando Martinez shot him several times.

Tina Martinez called 911.

Armando Martinez took off.

Investigators said he was arrested in Harnett County after crashing the pick-up truck he was driving.

Martinez was originally charged with three counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder, and felony larceny of a motor vehicle for taking off in his step daughter’s pickup truck.

Tina and Armando are still married, Doyle confirmed. 

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