TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Manatee County man will spend the rest of his life in prison for murdering his wife back in 2020 while their children slept, according to prosecutors.
In a Friday press release, the Twelfth Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office announced that Julian Ortiz Castillo was convicted of first-degree murder in the death of his wife, Jessica Martinez-Lumbreras.
Authorities said on Aug. 2, 2020, Ortiz Castillo stabbed his wife with a kitchen knife 35 times while arguing after a backyard party at their home. According to police, the couple’s four children were asleep at the time.
Prosecutors said Ortiz Castillo stabbed himself several times in the stomach and tried to say he and his wife were attacked by a home intruder.
However, officers determined that his story was a lie after there was no evidence of force entry, the door bell camera showed no sign of an intruder, and a doctor found that his wounds were mostly “superficial.”
Thanks to DNA evidence and a forensic examination of blood spatter at the scene, prosecutors were able to get Ortiz Castillo convicted in the murder and sentenced to life in prison on March 1, 2023.
“This crime utterly devastated Jessica’s family and unfortunately they will never be the same,” Assistant State Attorney Suzanne O’Donnell said. “Hopefully this verdict will provide some comfort to them knowing her murderer has been held accountable.”