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Man gets life sentence in Cloverdale pot murder case

Bay City News Service

SANTA ROSA — A third defendant was sentenced in a 2018 marijuana-related murder in Cloverdale last year. Judge Dana Simonds on Friday sentenced Socorro Sierra, 34, of Healdsburg, to life in prison without the possibility of parole in the penalty phase of his trial in Sonoma County Superior Court.

A jury in November had convicted Sierra of first-degree murder and kidnapping in the case. Sierra was sentenced to an additional 25 years to life due to firearm enhancements.

Two Santa Rosa men were sentenced Jan. 10 to being accessories to the shooting murder and kidnapping of Jose Martinez, 46, a Cloverdale resident and longtime employee of Friedman’s Home Improvement who disappeared on June 29, 2019. Martinez’s family reported him missing on July 2.

The sheriff’s office said Martinez and Sierra were involved in marijuana dealing, and Sierra recently threatened Martinez. The three defendants picked Martinez up in front of a food store in Cloverdale on June 29, according to the sheriff’s office.

Sierra drove to the top of Geysers Road near the Calpine geothermal plant where he shot Martinez, according to sheriff’s officials. He allegedly wrapped Martinez’s body in a tarp the next day and buried him in a marijuana garden in the 2100 block of West Dry Creek Road in unincorporated Sonoma County outside of Healdsburg.

Sheriff’s deputies later recovered Martinez’s body and arrested the three men who were initially charged with kidnapping and murder.

Climmie Smith-Hill, 30, was sentenced to three years of probation and was scheduled to be released after having served 178 days in jail.

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