Man charged with nine contract killings in California

(AP)

Jose Manuel Martinez

A suspected contract killer charged with killing nine people in three California counties over several decades is being investigated in connection with other unsolved slayings.

Prosecutors say 51-year-old Jose Manuel Martinez targeted victims in Tulare, Kern and Santa Barbara counties between 1980 and 2011. Tulare County Assistant District Attorney Anthony Fultz said Martinez was charged with the nine slayings on Tuesday.

Martinez has lived on and off in Richgrove, a small farming community in central California about 40 miles north of Bakersfield. He’s now being held in Alabama, awaiting trial in a 2013 slaying. Fultz said he’s also wanted in Florida on suspicion of two killings there in 2006.

Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux told the Fresno Bee investigators are trying to determine whether Martinez is a suspect in local, unsolved murders.

(Copyright 2014 Associated Press, i-CABLE, Bay City News ). All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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