Lorena Martinez received these punishments, plus a $1,000 fine for the DWI, in district court Nov. 9 before Judge Joel Johnson.
Martinez choked her girlfriend, Christina Banda, on May 1. According to the police report, units were dispatched to 2200 N. Adams St., in reference to a disturbance.
Patrol Officer Greg Baron arrived on the scene. Banda opened the door and said, “Help me.”
When Sgt. Eddie Puga Garcia arrived, he saw Baron assisting Banda out of the apartment and heard him telling Martinez to sit down. Garcia noticed that Martinez was breathing heavily.
Both women said the two had been arguing over paying the bills. Garcia observed that Banda’s face was red and she had red marks on her neck.
Banda said Martinez had choked her so that had trouble breathing. She had screamed for help when the sergeant heard the commotion.
In the victim’s statement to police, she said Martinez began assaulting her in the bedroom, throwing her down on the bed and grabbing her by the neck. Banda managed to escape and run to the living room before Martinez pinned her to the floor and choked her again.
“I was grabbing the sofa and yelling for help. Then, the cops were knocking on the door,” Banda said.
Martinez was arrested and taken to Bee County Jail.
“Based on Christina’s statement and injuries I observed, I do believe that Lorena did intentionally, knowingly or recklessly impede the normal breathing or circulation... of Christina Banda by applying pressure to the person’s throat or neck,” said Garcia.
Martinez and Banda had previous tumult in their relationship.
In the early morning hours of July 11, 2009, Banda told DPS Officer Shawn E. Stephenson that Martinez had picked her up from work around 12:30 a.m., and the two went home to the apartment they shared. Martinez then said she was going out to buy cigarettes. Banda insisted on accompanying her, though Martinez did not want her to.
In the car on the way to the store, Martinez asked Banda for money. Banda refused, saying she believed Martinez wanted it for drugs. Martinez went for Banda’s purse, hitting her. Martinez told Banda she wanted to break up, when Banda hit her, opened the door and began yelling for help.
Banda said when they arrived back at the apartment, Martinez pulled her out of the car by her hair and continued assaulting her in the parking lot and in the apartment before running out with Banda’s purse.
Martinez told the police that the two were on their way home from the store “when she hit me on my face and opened the car door and started yelling for nothing, because she didn’t want me to leave her.”
Stephenson was making a routine traffic stop at the 400 block of East Inez Street when he saw a gray 1999 Saturn driving with the passenger door open. The officer reported that he heard a woman’s screaming coming from the car.
Stephenson called for backup and tried to follow the car but lost it, believing its lights had been turned off.
He saw a similar car parked at the Normandy Apartments and stopped to check when Banda ran around the corner of the apartment building crying for help. She said Martinez had taken her purse.
Banda was chasing Martinez when she made contact with the police.
The officers made contact with Martinez inside the apartment.
“As Martinez spoke, I could smell the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on her breath,” said Stephenson.
Additionally, in the driver’s side door, the police found a plastic zipper bag which held small baggies, one balloon containing a white powder substance, one dollar bill wrapped around a baggie containing a white powder substance and a mirror with that substance on it.
The couple were within 1,000 feet of A.C. Jones High School, a drug-free zone, when the substance was found.
As Stephenson interviewed Martinez at 3:50 a.m., he asked her if she had been that intoxicated before.
“I’m not really intoxicated. I’ve been worse,” she said.
The officer administered a field sobriety test. Based on those results, Martinez was arrested. Banda’s 3-year-old daughter was in the back seat without a child safety seat, making the charge a DWI with an underage passenger.