A possessive boyfriend who stabbed his flatmate to death during a ‘vicious and frenzied attack fuelled by pure jealousy’ is facing a life sentence.
Carlos Velez, 20, accused David Martinez of kissing his girlfriend before hacking at him with a kitchen knife at their flat in Leytonstone, east London, on March 6 last year.
He denied murdering the Spaniard, but was found guilty at the Old Bailey on Thursday.
Edward Brown QC told jurors that Mr Martinez, 26, was killed ‘for no good reason at all’. The prosecutor said: ‘He was killed at the hands of this defendant – and was a victim of this defendant’s possessive and short-tempered nature.’
The court heard Velez had a history of violently possessive behaviour, having punched a stranger on the Tube just for looking at his girlfriend Ashlly Rondon-Diaz.
He also had an aggressive confrontation with a neighbour, who he suspected of having an interest in her, jurors were told.
On the day of the killing, Mr Martinez texted a cousin saying that Velez was acting ‘all crazy and was asking if had kissed his girlfriend’.
In another fateful message, he wrote: ‘I am going to try to go on Friday else I’ll end up dead.’
Ms Rondon-Diaz sobbed as she described from the witness box walking in on Velez attacking Mr Martinez in the kitchen after hearing his screams.
She said: ‘I thought Carlos was just screaming but I heard somebody say “Help me Ashlly.”
‘I went to see where the screams were coming from, but I never thought it was what was happening. I saw David and Carlos in the kitchen.
‘Carlos had a knife which I had seen before which was green and he was giving it to David in the head and the stomach but it was very quick and I couldn’t see very well because I was so upset.
‘I ran out and opened the door and went to the street. I left that door open and I ran out and David came running behind me. He pushed me slightly aside and passed in front of me and said: “Help me.”
‘He ran out and then he just passed out on the pavement. David was on the floor and Carlos was leaning over. He was stabbing David with a knife. David was screaming trying to escape.’
Mr Martinez suffered multiple knife wounds to the head, shoulder, chest and thigh as well as defensive cuts to his hands during the ‘truly dreadful attack’, the court heard.
He died outside on the pavement.
Velez fled to Portsmouth, where he changed his clothes, jurors heard. He was stopped by police riding a bicycle beside the M27 outside the Hampshire port.
Following his conviction, Devi Kharran, CPS Senior Crown Prosecutor, said: ‘This was a vicious and frenzied attack fuelled by pure jealousy and possessiveness.
‘David Martinez was murdered inside his own home where he should have been safe. The tragedy of this case lies in the knowledge that David was aware that his life could be in danger and had plans to move out of the flat.
‘The prosecution case against Carlos Velez included strong witness testimony and forensic evidence, which was able to convince the jury of his guilt.
‘When interviewed by police Velez changed his story numerous times. First he claimed that he himself had been robbed of his phone at knife-point and had no knowledge of the murder.
‘Then he went on to say he could not remember what had happened. Later he claimed to be having visions and hearing voices. At one point he even sought to blame the killing on his girlfriend.
‘Velez will now spend a significant time in jail as a result of his actions.’
He will be sentenced at the same court on Friday.
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