An Arizona mother, Elizabeth Archibeque, is set to face her sentencing on Thursday for the murder and child abuse of her 6-year-old son, Deshaun Martinez. The tragic incident unfolded in their Flagstaff apartment, where the young boy was subjected to inhumane treatment, locked in a closet, and deprived of basic necessities. Coconino County Superior Court Judge Ted Reed will weigh the severity of the crime before rendering the sentence. Archibeque could face a maximum penalty of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The grim circumstances surrounding Deshaun Martinez’s death, which occurred in March 2020, were revealed during the investigation. Autopsy findings revealed the heartbreaking reality of severe starvation as the cause of the young boy’s demise. It was on March 2, 2020, when Ann Martinez, the boy’s grandmother, made the distressing 911 call, expressing her fear that Deshaun had already passed away. Later determined to be a homicide, the tragedy shocked the community and ignited a demand for justice.
The boy’s father, Anthony Martinez, and grandmother, Ann Martinez, were also implicated in the crime. However, they have pleaded not guilty and are awaiting separate trials on charges of murder and child abuse. Authorities continue to unravel the full extent of their involvement.
The investigation shed light on the horrific conditions in which Deshaun and his older brother were forced to endure. Confined to a closet for a staggering 16 hours a day and provided with scarcely any sustenance, the brothers suffered immensely. The parents claimed their actions were a form of punishment for stealing food while they slept. Tragically, Deshaun’s older brother survived these oppressive conditions. Thankfully, their two sisters were found to be in good health during the authorities’ intervention.
Elizabeth Archibeque entered into an agreement with prosecutors earlier this year, reaching a guilty plea for her involvement in the heinous crime. The terms of the agreement explicitly state that probation is not an option for her. If sentenced to life in prison, she will be ineligible for any form of parole or work release. Prosecutors decided against pursuing the death penalty for this case.
Ann Martinez’s legal team is currently preparing for a case management conference scheduled for September 18, with her trial set to commence in January 2024. On the other hand, Anthony Martinez’s trial, initially slated for this year, had its date vacated and is currently pending reset.
As we await Elizabeth Archibeque’s sentencing, we are reminded of the tragic fate that befell Deshaun Martinez. This heartbreaking case serves as a somber reminder of the necessity to protect and cherish the well-being of our children. May justice prevail as we gather to witness the legal consequences unfold in this deeply disturbing crime.