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Healdsburg man gets 25 years to life for murder in marijuana deal

A Healdsburg man was sentenced on Thursday in Sonoma County Superior Court to 25 years to life without parole for a marijuana-related murder in 2018, the Sonoma County District Attorney’s office said.

Socorro Sierra, 35, was convicted in November of the murder of Jose Evelio Martinez, 46, of Cloverdale in June 2018. Sierra and Martinez entered into a marijuana deal that quickly became combative, the District Attorney’s Office said. When Martinez, a middleman in the deal, wanted to get out of the deal Sierra became resentful and pressured Martinez for money.

Sierra and two other men drove Martinez to a remote bridge in The Geysers area of Sonoma County on June 30, 2018. Sierra shot Martinez in the head and buried his body on his marijuana grow farm near Healdsburg.

Martinez’s family reported him missing on July 2, 2018 after his sudden disappearance and a search for him throughout the county.

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office received information about Sierra’s involvement three weeks later, and Sierra eventually confessed to the murder and disclosed where he buried Martinez. At his trial Sierra claimed he killed Martinez in self-defense, the District Attorney’s Office said.

Two of Sierra’s accomplices pleaded no contest to being an accessory to the murder. Climmie Smith-Hill, 31, of Santa Rosa, was sentenced to three years probation and Felix Fernando Carreon Jr. 44, of Santa Rosa, a convicted felon, was sentenced to six years in prison.

Sierra also was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for firearm enhancements, the District Attorney’s office said.

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