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'Cliff is not going to get justice': Family of murdered SAISD officer upset with DA's recent action

The family said the district attorney's office told them the suspects charged in this case will be facing new charges.

SAN ANTONIO — An Alamo City family has been patiently waiting for justice. Now, they say they have no faith it will happen.  

Nearly two years ago, San Antonio ISD Officer Cliff Martinez was killed while working security. Two men are accused of assaulting the officer, even running him over with a car. 

However, many months later, the Bexar County District Attorney's Office dropped the capital murder charges initially filed against those suspects.

Dennis Martinez, Cliff's brother, said he got the call from the DA's office last week. 

"After the news we just received last week, I have no confidence that we are going to have justice in this case," he said.

His older brother and best friend was killed in December of 2019. He was working security at an IHOP on Hot Wells. Police said Martinez tried to break up a fight and was assaulted and ran over with a car twice.

"They keep reducing the charges and that adds insult to injury," Dennis Martinez said. "We lost Cliff. We can't get him back."

Dennis said the DA's office told him the suspects charged in this case will be facing new charges. Alfredo Martinez-Contreras and Jorge Lopez were originally facing capital murder charges. But now the two men are charged with aggravated assault against a public servant.

"I don't know if this was politically motivated or just an ease of the case, that they can get lesser charges through, whatever it is, it just doesn't feel like justice is being done," the brother said.

He said the DA's office told him they can't determine the intent in the case. The DA's office told KENS 5 they can't comment on pending cases. 

Former Bexar County District Attorney Nico LaHood doesn't have all the facts in this case, but gave KENS 5 insight.

"It is hard to see while not looking at the evidence," he said. "There is an intentional knowing standard when it comes to capital murder versus reckless when you are talking about aggravated assault on a public servant. So it is either number one, the facts in this situation fit that charge better, that could be one possibility. Or, two it could have been part of a negotiating and plea bargaining to get the case resolved."

Regardless of the reasoning, this news is disappointing for the Martinez family.

"You can't just kill a police officer and say, 'Sorry,'" he said. "This is not acceptable."

These new charges are a first-degree felony. The suspects could face five to 99 years, or life in prison, if they are convicted.