Robert Martinez Convicted of Murdering Steven Cerna in February 2015
On Friday morning in San Antonio, a jury began deliberations in Robert Martinez’s murder trial of Steven Cerna in February 2015. If found guilty, Robert faces 99 years of imprisonment.
He was the first member of his family to attend a four-year university, serving on multiple community boards and becoming an active part of Seattle media culture.
Early Life and Education
Robert Martinez has been found guilty by a San Antonio jury for shooting and killing 19-year-old Steven Cerna on February 15, found dead in a West Side drainage ditch known as Hell’s Gate on the West Side. Prosecutors claim Martinez lured Cerna to a motel by promising money for drugs before shooting him multiple times; Cerna was found dead next morning.
The prosecution’s primary witness in the murder trial of Cerna was his uncle, who testified that his nephew (now jailed on kidnapping charges) admitted shooting her. The defense argued that this uncle fabricated evidence to get his nephew arrested; their main argument being that this uncle had falsified evidence in order to get his nephew charged with killing Cerna.
Sandra Cerna expressed relief at having politicians involved in her daughter’s case as it has felt lonely to seek justice on her own for Gordillo and assist his family legally. She encouraged U.S. and Spanish officials to press for further charges against Gordillo while providing them legal assistance as needed by Sandra Cerna’s daughter’s family.
Achievement and Honors
Cerna has made an outstanding 47-year impactful contribution to Seattle media. Over this time, he has earned nine Northwest regional Emmy awards. Former host and producer for KCTS 9 as well as election analysis services provided to national PBS programs, Cerna has moderated U.S. Senate debates as well as congressional, gubernatorial and mayoral ones – garnering nine Northwest Emmy awards along the way!
Cerna was appointed to Washington State University’s Board of Regents in March 2020 and intends to use his experience as a journalist to assist WSU reach and assist underserved communities while working to reduce technology as an impediment to education.
Additionally, he was honored as a recipient of the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Western State University with their 2022 Hall of Achievement award and will be presented it during their 46th annual Murrow Symposium held April 5-6th.
Cerna’s interview style puts guests at ease, prompting revealing conversations. Additionally, he is actively involved in his community donating time and money to numerous local causes including building an apartment complex for homeless mothers with their children.
He’s also an enthusiastic sports fan, cheering on Seattle teams from the stands. In his free time he likes playing guitar and piano – something he does often at Washington State University Foundation board meetings!
On Friday, Robert Martinez was found guilty of killing 19-year-old Steven Cerna. Cerna’s uncle testified last week that Martinez admitted killing Steven; they could face 99 years of incarceration.
Gordillo’s family hopes Spanish authorities will upgrade his current charge of assassination against him to assassination and also add charges of dismemberment and sexual assault against Cerna, as well as dismemberment and attempted sexual assault on Cerna. Furthermore, they want the full weight of U.S. government to help put Gordillo behind bars for as long as possible; recently Senator Charles Schumer and Congresswoman Nita Lowey wrote to Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero to urge him to pay attention to this case.
Robert Martinez was found guilty by a jury of shooting and killing 21-year-old Steven Cerna in February 2015, two years later. Prosecuters believe Robert Martinez became responsible when he began bragging about it during conversations with his uncle; testimony from this individual helped put Robert Martinez behind bars; he has been sentenced to 99 years of incarceration.