Man arrested in 1987 cold-case murder collapses, dies in custody

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by KHOU.com staff

khou.com

Posted on July 19, 2013 at 2:05 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 19 at 2:13 PM

HOUSTON – A man who was recently charged in the 1987 capital murder of a 68-year-old woman died Thursday after collapsing at a detention facility.

Roman Martinez, 71, was charged with capital murder in connection with the Nov. 11, 1987 death of his neighbor, Jacqueline Anderson, Harris County deputies announced on Tuesday.

Anderson was found bound and strangled inside her north Harris County home. Her husband had recently died and she lived alone at 202 West Hambrick Road.

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Division investigated but after a year, investigative leads were exhausted and the case went unsolved.

Then, in 2012, the HCSO’s Cold Case Unit reopened the case and established Anderson’s neighbor and Texas Department of Criminal Justice parolee Roman Martinez as their primary suspect.

Investigators said Martinez confessed to having broken in to Anderson’s home and admitted that while committing the burglary, Anderson arrived home and walked in on him. He stated that he had physical contact with Anderson, but said she was alive when he fled the home.

Martinez was being held at the South Texas Intermediate Sanction Facility in Houston on a parole violation. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison for a 1989 offense of burglary of a habitation with intent to commit theft in Harris County.

He collapsed and became unresponsive at 10:43 a.m. on Tuesday. Martinez was taken to Ben Taub Hospital and died the next evening. An autopsy is pending, but the preliminary cause of death is cardiac arrest and multiple organ failure.

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