Teen charged in stabbing death of woman appears in court Thursday

By Cathy Hernandez - Reporter

HOUSTON - The defense attorney for an 18-year-old accused of killing his friend’s mother said he has never been in trouble with the law, and he's scared about the capital murder charge against him.

Mauricio Navarrette-Torres walked in court handcuffed on Thursday, wearing an orange jumpsuit and showing no emotion.

Christine Martinez, a mother of four, was stabbed to death last Friday.

Investigators said they found a bedroom window open and items missing from the home.

Navarrete-Torres was a friend and co-worker of one of her sons.

The son implicated Navarrete-Torres in her killing.

Deputies arrested the 18-year-old on Monday and said he confessed.

“He’s an 18-year-old high school graduate. He likes to collect comic books. He has a job. He was going to church. His father recently passed away about a year and a half ago, so I believe that’s taking a toll on him,” said defense attorney Emily Detoto. “He’s definitely not the type of person you would expect to be charged with this type of offense.”

Detoto believes the state wouldn’t seek the death penalty.

Navarrete-Torres is being held without bond.

His next hearing is set for April 11.

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