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Former convict arraigned in priest’s death

May 9, 1997

BERNALILLO, N.M. (AP) _ A priest who was being beaten to death in the mountains desperately tried to save himself by waving down a passing car, but his screams scared away his would-be saviors, an affidavit said.

The nude body of the Rev. Armando Martinez, 62, was found in the Valle Grande area of the Jemez Mountains on Sunday. He died of massive head injuries.

Dennis Carbajal, 38, turned himself in and confessed to killing Martinez Wednesday. He was arraigned Thursday on murder charges.

A half hour before his death, Martinez got a passing car to stop by running in front of it.

``A man is trying to kill me,″ he screamed, according to the affidavit. ``Please help me, I’m a priest. I gave a ride from Jemez Springs and he just got out of prison. He’s going to kill me. You must believe me, it’s my life, it’s my life.″

A younger man came over and said, ``Don’t listen to my friend. He’s drunk. He doesn’t know what he’s saying,″ the affidavit said.

The five people in the car said they were frightened by Martinez and drove off.

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