Restraining order useless against former boyfriend accused of fatal Camden stabbing

Posted: May 30, 2012

A court-ordered restraining order couldn’t protect Sophia Ortiz, 22, a Camden County prosecutor said Tuesday.

Ortiz obtained the order last week against Julio Martinez, the father of her two children, ages 1 and 2, Assistant Prosecutor Christine Shah told Superior Court Judge Samuel Natal.

On Friday, Shah said, Ortiz twice called police, telling them that Martinez was at the door of her apartment in the 400 block of Boyd Street in Camden. Police responded both times, at 8:30 and 9:17 p.m. And each time, Shah said, Martinez had fled.

As police searched for him, Martinez wentback to the apartment a third time, broke in, and, in front of his children, stabbed Ortiz to death, according to authorities. The children were not harmed. Natal ordered Martinez, 24, of Camden, held on $1 million bail Tuesday after an arraignment in which he pleaded not guilty.

The brief hearing was attended by several members of Ortiz’s family. One male relative tried to jump over the rail that separates the spectator section of the courtroom from the defense table. The family member, who was not identified, was subdued by sheriff’s officers and accompanied out of the courtroom, said Jason Laughlin, a spokesman for the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office.

He was not charged, Laughlin said.

Authorities said that Martinez broke into the apartment shortly after 11 p.m. and kicked down the door to the bedroom where Ortiz was hiding with the couple’s children. He then stabbed her with a carving knife that was still in Ortiz’s back when police arrived, officials said. She died during surgery at Cooper University Hospital early Saturday morning.

Martinez, of the 200 block of Baldwin’s Run, is being held in the Camden County Jail.

Contact George Anastasia at 856-779-3846 or ganastasia@phillynews.com.

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