Alleged Calif. hitman pleads guilty in Ala. case

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Associated Press

Posted on June 19, 2014 at 11:01 AM

Updated Thursday, Jun 19 at 11:33 AM

MOULTON, Ala. (AP) — A man charged in 11 killings in California and Florida has pleaded guilty to murder in Alabama.

Court records show 52-year-old Jose Manuel Martinez pleaded guilty Thursday to shooting Jose Ruiz in Lawrence County in March 2013. A judge sentenced him to 50 years in prison.

Investigators say Ruiz was shot to death after making a derogatory remark about Martinez's daughter.

Police say that once Martinez was arrested in that case he claimed to be a contract killer for drug cartels who has killed dozens of people in several states.

Authorities have since charged Martinez with nine contract murders in California, and defense lawyer Tommy Tucker says Martinez is charged in two more slayings in Florida.

Tucker says Martinez will likely be sent to Florida first to face charges there.

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