No bond for father accused of killing son

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- No bond for an Ahwatukee father being tried a second time for the murder of his son. 

Convicted once, Jeff Martinson was granted a retrial and his lawyer wanted him freed while he awaits that trial.

“I know what I am asking is unusual judge I recognize that but I submit that this is an unusual case,” said Michael Terribile.
 
Jeff Martinson , 45, is accused of first-degree felony murder and child abuse in the August 2004 drug overdose of his son, Josh, who was 5.
 
“Mr. Martinson has been in custody 7 years before trial and now more than 7 years being held in arguably one of the worst jails in the country,” said Terribile. He should have bond or be released on his own recognizance.”
 
Martinson was found guilty of his son's murder last fall, then Judge Sally Duncan overturned that verdict and declared a mistrial because of jury misconduct and testimony that should have been disallowed.
 
“It was through no fault of the state in any way shape or form that the court made the decision to bring a new trial,” said Frankie Grimsman, arguing that bond would be unprecedented. “At this point in time this case is a death penalty case and according to statutes it’s very clear he's not eligible for bond.”
 
The judge agreed.
 
“The motion is denied the court finds proof evident and presumption great and I’m not going to set bond in this matter,” said Judge Duncan.

She did set a new trial date of July 16 and warned the defense attorneys that their pay rate may be changing.

"The exigency is now gone,” said Judge Duncan. “This case has been tried, it's been investigated and the court has some concerns about the rate of pay as high as it has been.”

Already this case has cost the county millions of dollars.

Currently, both private defense attorneys are paid significantly more than typical public defenders. It's part of a deal that was made to ensure that, after 11 defense attorneys and several years of legal wrangling, this case would finally go to trial, which it did.

“The court itself described this case as a three ring circus all continuances and delays in getting to trial,” said Terribile.

With a new trial looming, the judge implied that the leg work is done so the hourly rate could change.

Neither defense attorney was pleased.

“If I stop working another lawyer has to come in and start over again,” said Terribile. “I didn't sign a contract I'm not at the beck and call of the county.”

It's been more than seven years since Josh was found dead and his father was arrested.

There is no telling how attorney pay and further legal wrangling could impact that July trial date.