July 16th, 2012 08:43 EST
Man Forgives Killer of Wife and Daughter in the Name of Christ
Citing his Christian faith, a Las Vegas, Nevada, man nearly beaten to death in a brutal, random home invasion that also killed his beloved wife and ten year old daughter, forgave his attacker.
Just three months after being left for dead after a vicious beating by a hammer wielding criminal, Arturo Martinez-Sanchez, 39, said in a recent news conference at his newly re-opened North Las Vegas boxing gym that his Christian beliefs made it possible to forgive the killer, who perpetrated what local police call one of the most heinous crimes in memory.
Immediately following the vicious attack upon Martinez-Sanchez, the alleged killer, Bryan Clay, 22, turned to wife Yadira Martinez, 38, and daughter Karla, 10, raping both and bludgeoning them to death with the same claw hammer that left the family patriarch semi-comatose and unable to speak.
"As a believer in Christ, I know that God forgives all the sins of those who have faith in Him. In this, I am instructed to forgive first. Knowing that God will forgive murderers if there is true repentance, Bryan Clay will stand in judgment before Him. It is my prayer that my wife Yadira and my daughter Karla are in Heaven waiting for my sons and me to arrive to spend eternity with them. In fact, I know this is true," declared Martinez-Sanchez.
Sons Christopher Martinez, 10, and Alejandro Martinez, 5, sat next to their father at the press conference, comforting him as he tearfully read his statement. Following the April 15 attack, having spent a full day in the blood splattered house, Christopher walked to his elementary school and informed teachers and administrators of the horrible scene at his home.
Martinez-Sanchez also made it clear that he expects Clay to pay here on earth for this terrible and senseless attack. "He will pay for his crimes. He will be punished for what he has done to my family. He must face justice and whatever penalty the judge hands down, including death, if that is how he is sentenced," said Martinez-Sanchez.
An audience of about 75 supporters, dignitaries and media gasped when he opened his statement with the phrase, "I forgive this murderer because of my faith in God and in Jesus Christ." Later, when asked by a reporter what he would say to Clay if he could, Martinez-Sanchez replied, "I would say, `I forgive you.` If he kissed me on the cheek, I would kiss him back."
Speaking haltingly as he struggled for words, Martinez-Sanchez concluded his appearance before about 75 reporters and friends saying, "I love my Yadira. I love my Karla. I love my sons. We all love Jesus. Through his strength, we will survive."
Links to other stories:
Text of statement and backgrounder available.
Entire press conference: