SANTA ROSA (CBS SF) — A Santa Rosa man has been sentenced to more than 35 years in prison for a Sonoma County jailhouse crime spree that included the attempted murder of a fellow inmate and setting an arson fire that heavily damaged the facility’s common area and sent several inmates to the hospital for smoke inhalation.
Sonoma County prosecutors said 28-year-old Bernabe Ramirez Martinez originally was incarcerated for a June 2O17 DUI incident.
Martinez was driving under the influence of methamphetamine with his girlfriend and six-month old daughter in the car when he accelerated over a center median and collided with a light pole.
Fortunately, the passengers did not suffer any injuries. When officers arrived at the scene, numerous bystanders identified Martinez as the driver of the car.
When they attempted to detain him, he physically resisted the officers and twice reached for an officer’s holstered firearm. Martinez was convicted of misdemeanor reckless driving while intoxicated, felony child endangerment, and felony attempting to remove a police officer’s firearm.
While he was being held for sentencing, Martinez was convicted of viciously attacking another inmate with a weapon that he fashioned out of a hairbrush.
Prosecutors said Martinez stabbed the inmate at least 10 times in the neck and face in a sudden and unprovoked assault. For this offense, Martinez was convicted of attempted murder with an allegation that he inflicted great bodily injury.
In November of 2018, days before he was to be sentenced again, Martinez locked himself into the common area of the jail housing unit while the other inmates were in their respective cells.
Using common items from his personal belongings and a power outlet, Martinez created a small fire. With the help of paper and clothing, he grew the fire and spread it around the common area. The fire caused significant damage inside the jail, and numerous correctional deputies and inmates were transported to a hospital for treatment related to smoke inhalation.
Martinez was convicted in this third case of felony arson of an inhabited structure.