Bryan Devonte Clay is behind bars for the murder of a woman, Ignacia Martinez, and her 10-year-old daughter, Karla Martinez, during a home invasion at their home in Las Vegas, Nevada.
On the morning of April 16, 2017, a 9-year-old boy named Christopher Martinez walked four blocks to Hoggard Elementary School, where he attended fourth grade.
He went to his classroom and started to cry. His teacher, Candace Wagner, said, “Because he’s just not a cryer, I automatically said, ‘Christopher, what happened?’”
That’s when he told her that his mom and sister were dead at his home in the 1000 block of Robin Street. He added that his father had two holes in his head and was behaving strangely.
Christopher was then taken back to his home, where police found his mother, Ignacia Martinez, 38, and his sister, Karla Martinez, dead in their beds.
His father, Arturo Martinez-Sanchez, was alive but had suffered head injuries that led to serious brain damage.
He was rushed to the University Medical Center and later underwent two brain surgeries, followed by physical therapy.
Christopher’s five-year-old brother, Alejandro, was also found in the home. He was unharmed, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Police learned through an investigation that the family was attacked by an intruder who had broken into their home around 2 a.m. on April 15, 2012.
The intruder had sexually assaulted Ignacia and Karla before beating them to death with a hammer.
Arturo was also beaten on the head with a hammer, which caused him to lose consciousness.
When he awoke at 5 p.m. that same day, he couldn’t remember the attack, but he noticed the walls and floor were bloodied, and there was blood running down his neck.
Arturo found his wife and daughter dead in separate bedrooms. He also found his sons, who witnessed the attack, in the home—they were alive and unscathed.
He then clung to the walls and began searching the house for an intruder, but no one was there. However, the back door was open.
Arturo tried calling 911 for help, but his fingers weren’t cooperating. That’s when he told his oldest son to go to school and get help before he lost consciousness again, the Las Vegas Sun reported.
Christopher cared for his younger brother throughout the night until he went to school the following morning.
On April 27, 2012, police officers with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department arrested Bryan Clay in connection to the murders of Ignacia and Karla.
He was 22 years old at the time, and he did not have any connections to the family.
Lt. Ray Steiber told the Associated Press that “this was a complete stranger killing a mother and daughter and attacking the father. I’ve been doing this [police work] for 24 years, and you don’t see cases like this. I can’t even put this into words.”
Clay was also charged with the beating and rape of a 50-year-old woman. The incident took place several hours before Ignacia and Karla were killed—in the same neighborhood.
According to the Macomb Daily, the victim was walking near an intersection when an individual forced her to walk to a nearby desert area, where she was sexually assaulted.
Before the assailant fled the scene, he left behind a baseball cap containing Clay’s DNA. His DNA was also found on the bodies of Ignacia and her daughter.
Clay was booked into the county jail on various criminal charges, including two counts of murder, battery with a deadly weapon, and sexual assault.
He was also held at the jail without a bond.
During an interview with the police, Clay stated that he did not remember committing any of the crimes as he was under the influence at the time.
On Nov. 28, 2017, a jury found Clay guilty of murdering Ignacia and Karla. He then took the stand and asked jurors to spare his life.
He said, “I don’t feel like they [the victim’s family] should forgive me. I don’t feel like nothing in this situation can be forgiven.”
“If it wasn’t for my attorneys and my daughter, I would be begging ya’ll for death right now. But I don’t want that for myself. I don’t want my attorneys to have to sit through it. I don’t want anybody else to sit through it.”
Clay then went off track and became emotional. He said, “I don’t know how to express my remorse; I can only express love. And know these actions have caused so much pain.”
“Just to sit for six years and think about something you don’t remember doing, I went crazy. First thing I tried to do in jail was kill myself. They sat me in a cell, no clothes, no TV — just isolated. I had a shower in my cell. I couldn’t go anywhere. I couldn’t call my people.”
After taking a break from the stand, he returned and said, “I’ve heard God’s forgiveness is limitless. I hope he can forgive me and everybody else.”
The following month, Clay was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.