DUBLIN. A man from the Gulf was convicted of hiring an unknown criminal to murder his friend over a financial dispute. Prosecutors said the crime was motivated by $ 1.35 million in insurance policies that the defendant hoped to receive.
Albert Jones Jr., 39, was convicted of hiring the murderer of 27-year-old Alexander Jacob Martinez, a music engineer who was shot and killed outside the Castro Valley recording studio in 2016. The gunman played the role of a robber, but forced Martinez to kneel and shot him in the head, according to authorities.
A guilty verdict was delivered at the second Jones trial. He was tried once earlier this year, but the jury was unable to reach a verdict and, as the court records show, a wrong trial was declared.
Jones and Martinez were once close friends and roommates in Concord but, according to testimony, split after a financial dispute over unpaid bills at their home. After the murder, Jones was questioned by the police; he admitted to placing a tracking device he bought online on Martinez’s car, explaining that he felt increasingly humiliated by Martinez dodging him due to debt.
In the prosecution’s version, two witnesses appeared, whose testimony was read to the jury, since one died and the other could not be found. Marie Padilla, a Concorde resident who died of illness many years ago, testified in a preliminary hearing that Jones and another person lived with her until Martinez and Jones moved into Jones’s father’s home in Hercules. She said that at one point Jones got angry with Martinez over an unpaid bill, but when she met them, they were “like brothers.”
The perpetrator of the murder for hire has not been identified by the authorities.
Jones allegedly collected several life insurance policies on Martinez and then took steps to get them after the murder. Padilla testified that Jones left the country in April 2016 when the murder occurred, but confessed to her when he returned to the Bay Area.
“He said it was done and I didn’t understand what he was talking about at the time,” Padilla said. “He killed (Martinez).”