MANDEVILLE, La. (WGNO) — A Florida man, who robbed a Mandeville gas station and later caused a fatal car wreck, faces a possible sentence of 198 years in prison.
Daniel Martinez, age 26, was found guilty in connection with a robbery at a Mandeville gas station in 2021.
According to the St. Tammany Parish D.A.’s office, the gas station was robbed on June 20, 2021. The store clerk told police that a man in a white Honda Pilot parked and entered the store near closing time and asked for a pack of cigarettes. The suspect then pulled out a firearm and demanded the victim open the cash register, put cash in his bag, and lie down on the floor.
The clerk called 9-1-1 and was able to describe the suspect, detailing his clothing, a distinguishable tattoo above his right eye, a blue bandana he used to conceal his face before and a blue spray-painted gun he pointed at the victim.
Video surveillance footage from the gas station supported the victim’s description and showed the robber to be a Hispanic male with a blue bandana around his neck, a Puma sweatshirt, a Washington Redskins hat, blue and grey shorts, and white shoes. Detectives were able to get a partial license plate number from surveillance cameras across the street. Through use of a law enforcement database, the detectives were able to develop the entire Texas license plate number and learned the vehicle had been previously reported stolen out of Alexandria, Louisiana.
Further investigation revealed the vehicle was involved in a high-speed, fatal automobile accident in St. Martin Parish approximately 3 hours after the robbery in Mandeville. Louisiana State Police had responded to the accident in St. Martin and identified the driver of the vehicle as Daniel Martinez.
In its investigation of the fatal traffic accident, the Louisiana State Police executed a search warrant on Martinez’s vehicle and photographed its interior. The evidence supported the identification of Martinez from the robbery.
St. Tammany detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Daniel Martinez, who was later apprehended by the United States Marshals Fugitive Taskforce in Florida and extradited to St. Tammany Parish.
Assistant District Attorneys Amanda Gritten and Tiffany Dover prosecuted the case.
Sentencing is scheduled for April 11, 2023. The defendant has several previous felony convictions and faces a potential 198 years in prison as a repeat offender.