La Crosse man arrested for 2004 death of son in Arizona - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

La Crosse man arrested for 2004 death of son in Arizona

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Booking photo of Jeffrey Martinson from La Crosse County. Booking photo of Jeffrey Martinson from La Crosse County.
Jeffrey Martinson talks to an attorney Friday afternoon in a La Crosse County Courtroom Jeffrey Martinson talks to an attorney Friday afternoon in a La Crosse County Courtroom
Jeffrey Martinson appears before Judge Elliot Levine in La Crosse County Circuit Court Friday afternoon June 15, 2018. Jeffrey Martinson appears before Judge Elliot Levine in La Crosse County Circuit Court Friday afternoon June 15, 2018.
Jeffrey Martinson looks over court documents following his hearing on June 15 in a La Crosse County courtroom Jeffrey Martinson looks over court documents following his hearing on June 15 in a La Crosse County courtroom
La Crosse, WI (WXOW) -

An extradition hearing is pending against a La Crosse man who appears headed for a second murder trial regarding the 2004 death of his son in Arizona. 

Jeffrey R. Martinson, 51, is in the La Crosse County Jail following his arrest Thursday.

La Crosse County District Attorney Tim Gruenke said they received information from Maricopa County, which encompasses the Phoenix area, that Martinson was in Wisconsin and was wanted on a fugitive warrant.  Gruenke said Martinson was arrested without incident. 

Documents filed in La Crosse County contain information from the Maricopa County Attorney's Office said they wanted Martinson on a charge of 1st Degree Murder and Child Abuse.  

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office said that on the night of August 28-29, 2004, Martinson, who was divorced, had a scheduled weekend visitation with his 5-year-old son. When the child wasn't returned, his mother called police to check Martinson's home. There officers found the boy deceased, and Martinson attempting suicide by cutting his wrists. 

Toxicology reports from the autopsy showed the child had a fatal amount of muscle relaxant in his bloodstream. 

Once recovered, Martinson was charged with felony murder and child abuse. 

It took seven years for the case to go to trial. A jury found Martinson guilty of both charges, but couldn't agree on the whether to give Martinson the death penalty. The result was the judge declared a mistrial. 

Legal wrangling over charges of prosecutorial and juror misconduct led the judge in the case to throw out the conviction and order a new trial.

Prosecutors then tried to file new charges in 2012 of premeditated murder against Martinson, which led to further court challenges and appeals. Ultimately, in 2014, the judge dismissed the 2004 case with prejudice citing double jeopardy.

Martinson, who had remained in jail since the start of the case, was finally freed from custody in 2014. 

A LinkedIn profile shows that Martinson has worked in the La Crosse area since August 2014. 

Prosecutors appealed the trial judge's ruling. The appeal ended up in the Arizona Court of Appeals and state Supreme Court. In August 2017, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled the trial court erred in its dismissal of the case and allowed prosecutors to file the new murder charges. 

At the time, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said, “This decision allows us to move forward in seeking justice for the young victim and his mother. We continue to be validated on our contention that evidence of premeditation should have been allowed in the original trial.”

During a court appearance in La Crosse Friday afternoon, the attorney representing him said he'd spoken to Martinson's attorneys in Arizona who advised that their client not waive extradition as they wanted more time to go over the case. 

La Crosse County Circuit Court Judge Elliot Levine continued the $1 million cash bond for Martinson and scheduled another hearing for June 22.

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