EVERETT — Two brothers have been convicted of robbing and killing a man for his casino winnings last year outside the Village Motor Inn in Marysville.
A jury found both Jorge Nava “Speedy” Martinez Jr., 33, and Jose Antonio “Chi Chi” Nava, 32, guilty Tuesday afternoon of first-degree murder.
On Feb. 20, 2018, the brothers attacked Tye Burley outside of the Motor Inn, knocking him to the ground and kicking him. Martinez was accused of firing the fatal shot — by accident, he has said, according to a statement from his mother that appears in court papers. And Nava took Burley’s wallet, possibly filled with up to $7,000 in cash, according to the charges.
Burley, 30, died two days later at the hospital from a gunshot wound to the head. Martinez and Nava were arrested days later in California.
The robbery plan was hatched by another man, Jeremy Dailey, who was sentenced in May to 13¾ years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder. Defense attorneys argued Dailey’s testimony couldn’t be trusted for various reasons, including his choice to take a plea deal that gave him a lighter sentence.
Dailey and Burley had known each other for two years. When they met Feb. 19, 2018, Burley invited Dailey to stay in his room at the Village Motor Inn in Marysville, “out of concern for what he believed was (the defendant’s) lack of permanent housing,” charging papers say. Burley reportedly said that he had just won big at the casino, and opened his wallet, flush with cash.
At the May sentencing hearing, Superior Court Judge Edirin Okoloko called Dailey’s actions that night “the ultimate betrayal.”
“Tye provided a place to stay,” Okoloko said at the hearing. “You may have not been the one to shoot the victim, but you are the one who put the events into play that ultimately led to his death.”
A fourth man, Jared Evans, was sentenced in November 2018 to 3½ years in prison for his part in the plan.
Martinez and Nava went on trial in the same courtroom, in front of the same jury. Dailey and Evans both testified against the brothers, in a trial that lasted about two weeks. In closing arguments, defense attorneys focused on the credibility of the key witnesses.
The jury took just a few hours on Christmas Eve to reach a verdict.
A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Jan. 2.