A state appeals court panel has rejected the latest appeal filed on behalf of one of two former Whittier residents convicted of the January 2009 murder of a San Pedro woman who was found shot to death in her car.
In its ruling Tuesday, the three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal agreed with a lower court judge’s conclusion that Daniel Keith Martinez is ineligible for re-sentencing under a recent change in state law that affects defendants in some murder cases.
Martinez was convicted along with co-defendant Raul Tiscareno of first-degree murder for the Jan. 30, 2009, killing of Ginie Samayoa, whose body was found in the driver’s seat of her red Toyota Tercel in an alley behind a San Pedro diner.
Another former Whittier resident, Michael Bonfiglio, was tried separately and was also convicted.
Authorities said the 27-year-old woman had been engaged in identity theft, and her laptop computer, which contained credit card information, was stolen from her during the attack, which occurred several blocks from her apartment.
All three men are serving life in prison without the possibility of parole.
In a March 2015 ruling that upheld the convictions of Martinez and Tiscareno, a state appeals court panel noted that there was “substantial evidence that the three men planned to rob Samayoa of her laptop computer and to kill her, eliminating the only witness to their robbery.”
The woman’s laptop was found on a bed in Tiscareno’s apartment, the appellate court justices noted.
That appellate court panel rejected the defense’s contention that there was insufficient evidence to support Tiscareno’s conviction and the special circumstance allegation of murder during the commission of a robbery against Martinez.
In a separate ruling in October 2014, a state appellate court panel upheld Bonfiglio’s conviction.
The California Supreme Court has refused to review the case against all three men.