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Man sentenced for murder of Lowndes County woman

Maurilio Martinez
Posted at 3:35 PM, Feb 06, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-06 10:39:10-05

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WTXL) -- A migrant worker has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of a Lowndes County woman.

Superior Court Judge James G. Tunison, II sentenced Maurilio Martinez, 42, to life in prison for the November 2002 murder of Joy Morris. In a release to WTXL, Lt. Stryde Jones with Lowndes County Sheriff's Office says it took jurors this week just 55 minutes of deliberation to return a guilty verdict on charges of murder and rape.

Jones says Morris' body was found in her car at 6972 Lake Park Bellville Road in Lake Park. Investigators say Morris was strangled to death.

There were few leads in the case until 2007 when a DNA sample taken from Martinez matched DNA found at the crime scene, investigators say.

Martinez was eventually tracked to Cassleberry, Florida where he was working. At the time of the murder, investigators say Martinez was working as a migrant farm worker in the Lake Park area.