December 1 2014

– A Mount Pleasant man stabbed his wife to death during daylight hours Saturday as he drove through town on U.S. Highway 17, according to arrest affidavits.

Alberto Martinez-Villa, 44, of Rifle Range Road later reported to police that he didn’t know where his wife was, prompting detectives to use a cellphone signal to track down her body that afternoon in North Charleston.

But after the discovery, Martinez-Villa recanted his initial statement and confessed to killing 32-year-old Augustina Hernandez-Hernandez and discarding her body, according to the Mount Pleasant Police Department.

The new details were revealed Monday in a police incident report and court paperwork as Martinez-Villa continued to be held without bail. U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, also had placed a detainer on him, meaning he would not be released even if he were able to post bail.

On Saturday, Martinez-Villa summoned the police to his house on Rifle Range Road and said his wife was missing from her workplace. Where she worked was not clear in the document.

Officers quickly started using the woman’s phone to look for her. After the provider sent an emergency ping, cellphone towers indicated that her phone was near Interstate 526 and Attaway Street in North Charleston, according to the affidavits.

Meanwhile, around 4:30 p.m., the North Charleston Police Department was called to Larry Street, about two blocks from where Attaway Street runs under I-526.

That’s where Hernandez-Hernandez’s body had been found lying face down and clad in nothing but a jacket, according to the North Charleston incident report. The cellphone rested next to it, and several stab wounds were apparent in the woman’s chest, the affidavits stated.

While North Charleston officers were examining the scene, a Mount Pleasant police detective arrived and said investigators from his department had traced the missing woman’s cellphone signal to the site. The two police agencies started collaborating on the investigation.

Town detectives said they had noticed inconsistencies between Martinez-Villa’s initial statement to them and what really was happening. They called him in for another interview Sunday.

Martinez-Villa again waived his right to remain silent, and he acknowledged to detectives through an interpreter that he had repeatedly stabbed his wife with a kitchen knife while driving in his car on U.S. Highway 17 near her workplace, according to the affidavits.

After discarding her body, he threw out some bloody clothes and vehicle components along I-526 and tossed the knife into a pond near where he works, the documents stated.

The police confiscated his clothing as evidence, and he was photographed wearing a shirt provided by them.

Jail officials said the ICE detainer on Martinez-Villa means that he is in the country illegally, but an agency spokesman could not immediately confirm his status.

The death that the police linked him to was the second homicide this year in Mount Pleasant. The suspect in the previous case, a stabbing at the Mount Pleasant Towne Centre, also remains behind bars on an ICE detainer.

– Andrew Knapp


About Jumpin' Jack Cash

Deep connections are the most important aspect of my existence. I don’t care if people don’t know what they want. I love books. I’m cynical of love stories, although I’m romantic. I adore gardens. I like women who challenge me. I love the rain as an excuse to stay inside and dream. I'm furiously impatient. If I ask you a question best to tell me the truth as I'm likely to already know the answer. I'm a carnivore. I continuously underestimate the magic of fresh flowers in my home. I love warm rain in the summer. My mood elevates to epic proportions when the sun shines. Tell me not to do something and I'll do it twice and take photos. Running is my antidepressant. I loathe lies. I rarely forgive a lie. Loyalty and honesty are my most noble virtues, and I value them more than anything in other people. I love to love, and am able to fall in love very quickly, although it's only ever happened once. I understood myself and fixed myself only after destroying myself. My greatest excitement comes from deliberately getting lost in foreign cities. I can be extremely loud and frighteningly silent. I hate insinuations. I love storms. Justice for all. I'm a proud man, but welcome the influence of the feminine soul. I have two sisters. I’m a dreamer. I’m a deep thinker. Don’t deal with guilt trips or drama that well. I'm extremely stubborn and persistent. I'm brilliant at keeping secrets. I love driving. I become absolutely and completely lost while watching a burning fire. When the toast pops from the toaster I’m never ready and shit myself. I play the guitar, but require much improvement. Solitude and warmth of the sun are perfect together. I’ve been married once and now divorced. I’m a music junkie. Chocolate mousse is the shit. I curse too much. I find it difficult to make friends. I spent four years as a firefighter. I’ve run my own company since 1991. Bright lights, big cities. I’ve been an executive producer of a feature film. Some people don’t care, and that’s the biggest let-down of the human race. There are cures and solutions for many evils, but no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings. The sound of the Italian language being spoken is as good as my favourite music. I hate corrupt cops. I relentlessly and passionately pursue anybody and anything that sets my soul on fire. I'm a dog lover, and all my dogs are considered family members. I have an obsession with photography. I have some close friends who are household names, but shall always remain anonymous. I’m crazy but not lazy. Losing a soulmate has hurt me badly. My two young sons are the nucleus of my universe. I love airports. I love freedom. If you are dishonest or disloyal, I can erase you from my life and memory immediately and permanently. I yearn to explore, dream about and discover as many friendships, deep connections and places, one possibly can in a lifetime.
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