Convicted kidnapper sentenced to life

An illegal immigrant convicted of kidnapping a Douglas County High School cheerleader at knifepoint appeared remorseful as he apologized to the girl's father during a May 1 sentencing hearing.

By By: Jess Buskirk
Posted 5/10/07

An illegal immigrant convicted of kidnapping a Douglas County High School cheerleader at knifepoint appeared remorseful as he apologized to the …

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Convicted kidnapper sentenced to life

An illegal immigrant convicted of kidnapping a Douglas County High School cheerleader at knifepoint appeared remorseful as he apologized to the girl's father during a May 1 sentencing hearing.

Posted

An illegal immigrant convicted of kidnapping a Douglas County High School cheerleader at knifepoint appeared remorseful as he apologized to the girl's father during a May 1 sentencing hearing.

Pedro Martinez, 25, appeared in court wearing a red prison uniform and shackled at the ankles and wrists. His lawyer, Daniel Katz, asked District Court Judge Nancy Hopf to explain to Martinez anything he said while addressing the court could be used against him in a future appeal.

"Kidnapping in the first degree carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole," Hopf said to Martinez. "The court has no discretion. I'm sure your attorneys have advised you that anything you say today can be used against you in an appeal."

Martinez chose to address the court against his lawyers' advisement.

During his apology, Martinez looked directly at Steve Scott, the father of 19-year-old Amber Scott. In March, a jury found Martinez guilty of kidnapping Amber Scott from the Walgreens parking lot in Castle Rock in April 2006 in an attempt to get money.

"I am very sorry and ashamed of my actions," Martinez said through tears. "Please forgive me for the grief I have caused you. My family has also been hurt by this. … I would like to say I never killed anyone, and I never touched anyone. Amber could have left whenever she wanted. Whenever I get released, I will never return to this country again."

Martinez has three felony drug convictions out of Arizona and was deported to Mexico as a result. Katz said Martinez re-entered the country to be with his family.

"What a terrible thing to do to someone," Steve Scott said of the kidnapping. "[Amber] will carry this for the rest of her life."

He said his daughter was emotionally unable to give a statement to the court, so he read a short note she wrote.

"The night I was kidnapped, my entire view of life and safety was changed forever," Steve Scott read.

Two of Martinez's friends spoke on his behalf, and Katz read letters from Martinez's younger brother and his cellmate.

"Pedro is a quiet man," Marty Chase said. "He's funny. He's pretty easygoing. I've never seen him raise his voice. … I know he has made some poor decisions, but he has also brought a lot to this community and his friends."

Hopf acknowledged Martinez's remorse before handing down the sentence. She assured him the sentence did not mean he is "an evil person" and she was not "passing judgment on his soul."

"Even if this was an aberration for you, Mr. Martinez, that evening changed the life of an entire family and victim," Hopf said.

In addition to the life sentence without the possibility of parole, Hopf handed down five additional sentences ranging from six months to 20 years to run concurrently with the life sentence.

During the trial, Katz attempted to convey to the jury Martinez and Amber Scott knew each other and staged the kidnapping in an attempt to get money from Scott's parents. Katz said he intends to appeal.

Contact Jess Buskirk at 303-663-7171

or jbuskirk@ccnewspapers.com.

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