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Nebraska Police Nab Teen Double-Murder Suspect

November 3, 1994

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) _ Nebraska police captured a teen-ager accused of killing his stepmother and half-sister in Utah after becoming obsessed with the film ″Natural Born Killers.″

Nathan K. Martinez was found in a motel in O’Neill, Neb., after a passing officer noticed a car with Utah plates and checked it out. The car turned out to be that of the 17-year-old’s slain stepmother.

Friends said Martinez was unhappy at home and at least one said he often talked about killing his family. They said his obsession with ″Natural Born Killers″ led him to shave his head and wear tinted granny glasses like those worn by its homicidal protagonist, played by Woody Harrelson.

After the killings, he also was reported to have said he’d shoot it out with police if confronted rather than surrender.

″He said he wouldn’t go down without a fight and all that macho stuff,″ said Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Detective Darren Carr. ″But he probably changed his mind when he saw all those guys in his room.″

A SWAT team burst into the motel room, awakening Martinez. He did not attempt to reach for a .22-caliber handgun near the bed.

Martinez is charged with two counts of aggravated murder in the Oct. 30 slayings of Lauren Martinez, 42, and Alexis Martinez, 10. Both were shot as they slept in suburban Bluffdale, about 15 miles southwest of Salt Lake City.

Martinez waived extradition and was expected to be returned to Utah on Thursday.

Bryant Hamblen, a friend who rode with Martinez to Pocatello, Idaho, after the shootings, told the Deseret News that Martinez often talked of killing his family.

During the drive, they used money taken from a check drawn on his stepmother’s account to buy the ″Natural Born Killers″ soundtrack, the paper reported Wednesday.

Eventually, Martinez agreed to drop off his increasingly fearful friend.

″At one point I asked him, ’Nathan, you wouldn’t kill me would you?″ Hamblen said. ″He put his hand on my knee and squeezed it and said, ’I don’t know. I don’t know.‴