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Man placed on probation for threatening to stab 10-year-old girl

Crime Watch

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Johnny Martinez | Bonneville County Jail

IDAHO FALLS — An Idaho Falls man who tried stabbing a 10-year-old girl standing in her yard was placed on probation Friday following a plea agreement.

Johnny Martinez, 37, will spend 6-years on supervised probation after he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault, trespassing and disturbing the peace.

According to police, Martinez approached a 10-year-old girl playing in her yard and threatened to stab her with a large knife. He was originally charged with felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon enhancement, but as part of the plea agreement, his charges were reduced to misdemeanors.

Bonneville County Prosecutor Daniel Clark told the plea agreement came after consideration with the victim’s family.

Martinez spent nearly five months in jail. Magistrate Judge Wiley Dennert credited the man for the time he spent behind bars while suspending 298 days of jail time, which could still be served if he violates probation.

The girl Martinez tried to attack had gone outside to let their German Shepherd go to the bathroom. Her mother spoke with in October. She asked that only her first name be used.

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“I heard a bloodcurdling scream, and she comes running in yelling that some guy just tried to stab her in the front yard and that he was out there right now,” Christin said in October.

The mother and her fiancé confronted Martinez. He reportedly stabbed their fence as he walked towards A.H. Bush Elementary School. Christin called 911, and the elementary school was placed on lockdown.

Minutes later, police found Martinez at Crowley Street and Boise Avenue with a broken meth pipe in his hoodie pocket and a knife in his back pocket, according to court documents.

RELATED | Man accused of trying to stab child threatened to kill family member months ago, court documents say

Court records show Martinez has a history of drug use, mental health issues and violent outbursts. Months before trying to stab the little girl, Martinez was arrested after he confronted a family member and said “he was sick of her s*** and was going to kill her,” according to court documents.

The family member called 911 after Martinez went into the kitchen and began rattling knives. Martinez denied to Bonneville County Sheriff’s Deputies that he made any threats and days later, a felony charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon was dismissed.

Dennert ordered Martinez to pay $1,072.50 in fees and fines.