Sheriff: Man forced to admit fault in cell phone video before being killed

Published Feb. 18, 2012

LEALMAN — The 39-second cell phone video made that morning shows Landy Martinez-Esquivel bound in his bathtub and crying.

It's not Jose's fault, the 21-year-old says in Spanish, according to authorities. It was my fault.

An hour later, the same name surfaces in a desperate 911 call.

"Help. Help. They're going to kill me. Help. Please help me. Help me," Martinez-Esquivel yells to a dispatcher. "Jose, no!"

For nearly two hours on the morning of Dec. 21, authorities say Jose Magana Adame, 24, kept Martinez-Esquivel, his ex-boyfriend, a prisoner in his home in unincorporated Lealman.

Then Adame shot him while he was on the phone with 911, Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said at a news conference Friday. The shots come about 50 seconds into the call. One shot was to the back of his head. The other, through the chest.

Adame and Martinez-Esquivel had a long on-again, off-again relationship. They had lived together at 5476 57th Ave. N for about three weeks. But in the days leading up to the incident, they had been arguing over a vehicle.

On Dec. 13, Martinez-Esquivel called the Sheriff's Office to report that his ex-boyfriend had stolen his vehicle. Adame had apparently taken the vehicle a couple of weeks before, left the state, and had been blowing through red-light cameras and getting parking tickets, all of which were sent to Martinez-Esquivel, a report states. The squabble caused Adame to move out, Gualtieri said.

Those around Martinez-Esquivel were worried for him. One of the homeowners, Yadira Guzman, was so worried about Adame coming back to the home that she installed a surveillance system in the house. She monitored the cameras remotely from North Carolina, Gualtieri said.

About 11:15 a.m. the day of the shooting, she called deputies to tell them the system had been cut. She was worried and wanted them to do a welfare check.

Deputies came to the home and found a broken window and a door ajar. They found Martinez-Esquivel dead in a bedroom.

Deputies found remnants of duct tape on his wrists and legs.

After the shooting, Adame fled to Hickory, N.C., where he was arrested in an unrelated burglary, authorities said. Adame, who is in the country illegally, was placed on an immigration hold. Adame denied committing the homicide, Gualtieri said.

A Pinellas County grand jury later indicted him on a murder charge. On Friday, he was in jail in Catawba County, N.C. He's expected to be returned to Pinellas County within the month.

With Adame's arrest, the Sheriff's Office has made an arrest in each of the 14 homicides in its jurisdiction in 2011, Gaultieri said.