At this writing, Leonard Martinez has not yet been formally accused of homicide in the death of his former girlfriend in Lakewood last week.
But rest assured, he will be soon.
He was originally arrested on suspicion of assault and attempted murder. However, the situation changed when his victim, 21-year-old Kendra Chavez, died from her wounds — and the description of her injuries contained in the case's police report is shocking.
Around 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 25, according to the Lakewood Police Department, officers responded to the 6600 block of West Mississippi Avenue after being told about a stabbing.
The location has been widely reported to have been the Curve motel. However, as you can see by the following interactive graphic (if you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map"), its sign advertises short-term apartments.
Upon their arrival, officers found a young woman later identified as Chavez who was suffering from "life-threatening stab wounds," the LPD notes.
Judging by the arrest affidavit included below, this description is more than apt.
The document suggests that blood "spurted" from a stab wound in Chavez's neck, with one investigator writing, "The blood pattern I observed is consistent with an arterial type of bleed."
Afterward, the report says that Martinez initially asked residents of the complex to come to Chavez's aid before splitting — and when one man tried to help, he found Chavez unable to speak because her throat was filled with blood.
The LPD shorthands what took place before the stabbing as "some type of a domestic violence incident" — and Chavez was clearly concerned that something bad might happen.
The affidavit says she phoned her mom a half-hour before the stabbing to say Martinez was threatening her.
As Chavez was transported to an area hospital, an alert went out for Martinez, accompanied by what appears to be his driver's license photo:
Martinez remained on the loose until Friday afternoon, February 26, at which point he was taken into custody.
Then, on Sunday, March 1, Chavez died as a result of her injuries.
When revealing this sad news, the Lakewood police noted that a change of allegation was anticipated. However, we checked with the First Judicial District DA's office and confirmed this hasn't taken place yet.
It's only a formality, however. Martinez is expected to appear in court on Friday, March 6, to be advised of the charges against him. By the time he steps before a judge, there's no doubt he'll be facing homicide-related beefs.
Look below to see a larger version of Martinez's booking photo, followed by the aforementioned arrest affidavit. In the meantime, our sincere condolences to the friends, family and loved ones of Kendra Chavez.Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
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