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Author Topic: Christy Lynne Espinosa 21, Body found burning near Austin, TX 2 Convictions!  (Read 17696 times)
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MuffyBee
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« on: February 26, 2009, 10:47:34 PM »

Body found burning in East Travis County identified
Updated: 2/26/2009 3:36 PM
By: News 8 Austin Staff
A fire led to the discovery of a body just south of Walter E. Long Lake in East Travis County Wednesday.

Police identified the victim as 21-year-old Christy Lynne Espinosa.


The Travis County Sheriff's office said Espinosa was last seen early Wednesday morning celebrating Mardi Gras on Sixth Street.

A grass fire took hold of the area of the 6000 Block of Imperial Drive North earlier this week. An area resident, who saw smoke, said they thought it was another grass fire. But when Travis County deputies arrived, they found it was a body burning, not the grass.

By the time the flames were out the body was burned beyond recognition.

The official cause of death has not been released.

If you know anything about this case, you're asked to call Detective Greg Lawson at (512) 854-3426.

http://news8austin.com/content/top_stories/default.asp?ArID=233322
« Last Edit: December 07, 2009, 08:24:55 PM by Nut44x4 » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2009, 10:52:20 PM »

My word! does it ever end??? Did anyone on here know that she had been missing before this? I had not heard of her disappearance...how sad!
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« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2009, 12:41:14 PM »

And now for the rest of the story.......

New charges in burned
body case
Cops: husband, wife wanted to steal
her identity
Updated: Wednesday, 11 Mar 2009, 8:03 AM EDT

AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) - New charges were filed Tuesday evening in the case of a body found burning on the side of a Travis County road. Martha Medina-Hernandez and her husband Kenneth Hernandez are now charged with murder.

Kenneth was arrested Tuesday night in Austin and Federal authorities arrested Medina-Hernandez Saturday as she was re-entering the U.S. from Mexico on an unrelated warrant.

Travis County investigators believe they killed Christy Lynne Espinosa, 21, to steal her identity. Espinosa's burning body was discovered Feb. 25 along a road in Northeast Travis County. She was last seen celebrating Mardi Gras on Sixth Street the night before.

"This is a case of somebody being in the wrong place at the wrong time," said Roger Wade, spokesperson for the Travis County Sheriff's Office. "They took her to Northeast Travis County and in an effort to mask her identity, burned her body."

Arrest warrants for the couple indicate each is blaming the other for Christy's death. Both admit to meeting an intoxicated Christy on Sixth Street and taking her to Kenneth's car, then driving around Austin.

Kenneth tells detectives Martha suffocated Christy with saran wrap because she was jealous the woman was flirting with her husband. Martha claims it was Kenneth who suffocated her.

Detectives have surveillance video from a gas station in the Del Valle area which shows Kenneth buying a small gas can and filling it with gasoline on the morning of Feb. 25. A clue left near Christy's body led, not only to a possible motive, but also, to the suspects themselves.

"There was an identifcation card left at the scene that had Martha's name on it, in an attempt to make people believe that it was Martha who got burned up," said Wade.

Kenneth's sister said Martha confessed to her. She claims Martha told her she killed Christy to steal her identity so she could continue to visit family in Mexico, despite an outstanding warrant in Travis County.

Meanwhile, those who knew Christy Espinosa said news of the arrests is a relief.

"I'm glad that they found the persons that did that- at the same time, you can't get a lot of satisfaction out of anything when it's so gruesome as this," said Rev. Jimmy Seal, Pastor of the Jubilee Christian Center, where Christy's family attends church in South Austin.

Christy graduated from Crockett High School in 2005, where she took advanced placement classes and was a member of the dance team. Bond for the Hernandez's was set at $250,000 per person. Both are in custody.
http://www.wwlp.com/dpp/news/national/south/nat_kxan_austin_new_charges_in_burned_body_case_200903102250038
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« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2009, 09:38:07 AM »

Woman in Espinosa murder case accused of threatening husband
Wife was charged in July after incident involving a knife and scissors.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A woman accused of killing and setting fire to the body of 21-year-old Christy Lynne Espinosa last month was charged in July with threatening to stab her husband with a chef's knife and a pair of scissors, according to court documents.

Kenneth

Kenneth Hernandez, who also is charged in Espinosa's death, sought a restraining order against his wife after the incident last year.

Court records obtained Wednesday said that on July 8, Martha Medina-Hernandez, 26, became angry and began breaking items in their apartment after Kenneth Hernandez confronted her about cheating on him.

Martha


An arrest affidavit said Medina-Hernandez then grabbed a knife and told her husband that she was going to kill him. He was able to pull the knife out of her hand and place it on a shelf out of her reach, the affidavit said.

The document said that Medina-Hernandez then pulled a pair of scissors out of a drawer and threatened her husband with them.

"At that time, Kenneth ran out of the apartment," the affidavit said.

Hernandez told police officers who responded to the couple's apartment on Grove Boulevard in Southeast Austin that he went to a neighbor's unit to call police. He showed officers the scissors and the knife after they arrived, according to the affidavit.

Medina-Hernandez was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and was released on bail. Court records show that she failed to appear at a hearing in October and that a warrant was issued for her arrest.

Medina-Hernandez was arrested on the warrant March 7 as she attempted to enter Texas from Mexico.

On Tuesday, Travis County sheriff's investigators charged her and Hernandez with murder in Espinosa's death. Espinosa's body was found in the 6900 block of North Imperial Drive in eastern Travis County on Feb. 25. The couple told authorities a variety of stories about her death, and each blamed the other, court records said. Officials said the details kept changing and included statements that Espinosa died accidentally, that she was killed to steal her identity and that she was killed because she flirted with Hernandez too much.

The couple's bail on the murder charges has been set at $250,000. Their son, whose age was not released, is in the custody of family members, sheriff's spokesman Roger Wade said.

http://www.statesman.com/news/content/news/stories/local/03/12/0312hernandez.html
« Last Edit: December 07, 2009, 08:31:25 PM by Nut44x4 » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2010, 08:08:37 PM »

http://www.kvue.com/news/Family-friends-remember-woman-killed-burned-in-East-Travis-County-85429887.html
Family, friends remember woman killed, burned in East Travis County
(Video Avail)
by KVUE News

Posted on February 25, 2010 at 6:19 PM
******

Thursday is the one year anniversary of when authorities found the body of a young woman who was lured away from 6th Street during Mardi Gras celebrations.

The body of Christy Espinosa, 21, was found in a field in East Travis County.  Her body had been set on fire.

Espinosa was last seen celebrating Fat Tuesday on 6th Street.

Investigators say Espinosa met up with a couple and left in their car.

Espinosa was suffocated in a plot to steal her identity.

Martha Hernandez and her husband Kenneth Hernandez were arrested for the crime and charged with murder.

Christy's mother, sister, cousins and grandfather and others held a vigil Thursday evening at the site where Espinosa was found.

All told KVUE they remember her smile and the ability to make people laugh and feel at ease.  They also acknowledged how difficult it is to remember her at the place where her burning body was discovered.

“It sickens me, that they would take her life that way and just for that dumb reason, she had a very positive life going and for it to be taken that way was just horrible so that's why it's important for us to be here because we want her to be remembered forever,” Rebecca Rangel, victim’s friend.
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« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2010, 02:34:15 PM »

Jury hears defendant’s interrogation in Mardis Gras murder trial
By Steven Kreytak | Wednesday, November 17, 2010, 12:26 PM

Ten days after Martha Hernandez’s military dependant identification was found next to 21-year-old Christy Lynne Espinosa’s badly burned body in rural Travis County last year, Hernandez continually denied she had anything to do with the killing during a long interview with sheriff’s office investigators.

An audio recording of that interview, which took place in the Maverick County Jail after Hernandez was arrested on an outstanding warrant trying to re-enter the United States, was played for jurors today at Hernandez’s murder and tampering with evidence trial.

Hernandez, 27, gave two later interviews with investigators, putting herself closer to the crime each time, a prosecutor said during opening statements. She ultimately admitted to trying to suffocate and kill Espinosa, the prosecutor said.

Hernandez’s defense lawyers said during opening statements that she was manipulated by her husband into participating in the crime and later pushed by him into taking responsibility for Espinosa’s death.

Hernandez faces up to life in prison if convicted. Her husband, Kenneth Hernandez also faces a murder charge and will be tried later.

Espinosa disappeared after partying with friends during the 2009 Mardis Gras celebration on Sixth Street. She was suffocated and then set ablaze with gasoline on Imperial Drive, near Decker Lake, according to testimony.

In her initial interview with investigators March 7, 2009, Det. Gregory Lawson and Deputy Wayne Sampson repeatedly tried to convince Hernandez that they had enough evidence against her to convict her of murder.

“All these little pieces of evidence that we have, there’s forensics, there are vehicles, there are computer searches,” Lawson said. “Everything that we’ve been doing, points directly at you.”

“Okay,” Hernandez said.

She later said she went to Sixth Street the night of the killing with some unidentified people, including a friend of a friend who she identified only as “Andrew” and later identified as “Casper” before again saying his name was “Andrew.” She said her purse and the military identification had been previously stolen, although she gave no specifics.

She could not explain how a bouncer at the Ivy Lounge, who had been dating Espinosa, ended up with Kenneth’s old phone number the night of the killing. (Mike Stackable, the bouncer, testified that a woman who left with Espinosa gave him the number so he could reach them later.)

The investigators did most of the talking.

“I’m more interested in whether you know anything about Christy Espinosa and what happened to her as far as her dying and getting gasoline thrown on her and burned,” Lawson said.

“The fact that your ID card was left at the scene of a burning body,” he said. “That your phone number was left with the boyfriend as she left. ‘If you need me, get me at this number. I’m going with my friends over to Fuel.’”

“The fact that your husband was at Fuel. The fact that you were at Ivy Lounge that night. The fact that your cell phone records show all kinds of activity that you’ve been doing.

“Yet all you can do is sit there and tell me no.”

Hernandez said: “Well, because I don’t have anything to do. I mean I don’t know what else to say.”

http://www.statesman.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/austin/courts/entries/2010/11/17/jury_hears_defendants_interrog.html
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« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2019, 01:09:53 PM »

Woman gets 60 years in Mardi Gras killing

https://www.statesman.com/article/20120901/NEWS/309011438
Updated Sep 26, 2018 at 8:36 PM

Rejecting her defense that her participation in the killing of 21-year-old Christy Lynne Espinosa was under the control of a manipulative and abusive husband, a Travis County jury on Monday found Martha Hernandez guilty of murder and sentenced her to 60 years in prison.

The jury also sentenced Hernandez to 20 years for tampering with evidence, a charge that will run together with the murder sentence. Hernandez will be eligible for parole after serving 30 years.

About 25 family members and friends of Espinosa and her family were in court for the verdict. Many of them wept as they shared quiet hugs after court adjourned.

Outside court, Espinosa’s father, Antonio, thanked the jury and said, “I think we’re satisfied.”

Espinosa was a Crockett High School graduate who worked at Applebee’s as a waitress. Her parents told the jury that she was a compassionate and giving person with a comedic streak.

“She wanted to make sure she was going to make your day brighter,” said her mother, Dianna Espinosa.

Christy Espinosa spent much of the night of Feb. 24, 2009 — Fat Tuesday — partying with friends at the Ivy Lounge on Sixth Street.

A bouncer told her to leave after deciding she had had too much to drink, according to testimony. Soon after, she told Mike Stackable, a former high school classmate whom she had been dating and who was working for the night

as a bouncer at Ivy Lounge, that she was going to another bar with three girls, he testified.

Several hours later, Espinosa’s body was found burning on the side of rural Imperial Drive in eastern Travis County. Flames shot several feet into the air from the corpse, which had been soaked in gasoline, according to testimony.

Hernandez’s military dependent identification and Mardi Gras beads were found near the body. She could not be excluded as a contributor to DNA found on the beads, according to testimony.

Eventually, Hernandez told investigators that she and her husband, Kenneth Hernandez, met Espinosa on Sixth Street and that the trio drove around drinking in his car.

Martha Hernandez said her husband gave Espinosa the anti-anxiety drug Xanax and tried to put his hand up her shirt.

Afterward, she said, he decided they had to kill her so he wouldn’t get in trouble.

Martha Hernandez told investigators that she tried to suffocate Espinosa. She said she sat in the back and put her hand over the mouth and nose of Espinosa, who was sitting in the front passenger seat. Hernandez said that after she could not bring herself to do it, Kenneth Hernandez finished the job.

Kenneth Hernandez will be tried for murder and tampering with evidence next month.   SNIPPED 
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« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2019, 01:13:49 PM »

https://www.statesman.com/article/20120901/NEWS/309002515  His turn...

Kenneth Hernandez gets life in Mardi Gras slaying

Updated Sep 27, 2018 at 3:11 AM
   
A Travis County jury on Friday sentenced Kenneth Hernandez to life in prison, the maximum punishment, culminating an emotional journey for an Austin family seeking justice in the 2009 Mardi Gras slaying of 21-year-old Christy Lynne Espinosa .

The verdict was the second long prison term given in the slaying of Espinosa, who had been suffocated and was discovered soaked in gasoline and burned along an eastern Travis County road last year.

Last month, a separate jury sentenced Hernandez’s wife, Martha, to 60 years for murder. Each was also sentenced to 20 years for tampering with evidence; those terms will run concurrent with the murder charges.

“We’d like to commemorate the two sets of jurors, who ultimately gave Christy her voice and allowed for justice to happen here,” father Antonio Espinosa said outside of the courthouse. “This will forever be a place that will be in our hearts.”

With his family weeping silently behind him, Hernandez sat quietly as Judge Bob Perkins read the sentencing verdict. Across the aisle, Espinosa’s family wiped away tears as they, too, wept quietly.    SOLVED!
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One who doesn't trust is never deceived...

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