EVERETT — Holly Martinez’s estranged husband admitted Thursday that he killed her.
Paul Martinez, 49, pleaded guilty as charged to aggravated domestic violence murder in the second degree. He faces decades behind bars at sentencing Jan. 14.
Holly Martinez, 45, had been a teacher, principal and administrator in the Everett School District. She and Paul Martinez were separated and in the middle of a divorce.
On June 18, he showed up at her home near Mill Creek. He asked to grab some of his belongings from the bedroom.
He was there for about 10 minutes before Holly Martinez went to check on him.
Their three children, all minors, were home at the time. They heard something that sounded like a fight coming from upstairs, but didn’t know what had happened.
When their father came out of the room, they convinced him to leave. He called 911 once he was outside.
Police found Holly Martinez, who had been shot two times. It appeared one bullet hit her while she was on the floor of her closet.
Paul Martinez spoke quietly in Snohomish County Superior Court on Thursday. The judge asked him twice to speak up.
He has no other criminal history. He remains in the Snohomish County Jail. His trial had been scheduled for Dec. 7.
Holly Martinez worked for the district for nearly a decade, beginning as a reading specialist at Garfield Elementary. She served as an assistant principal at several elementary schools before becoming principal at Forest View Elementary in 2011. She was a director of elementary literacy the two school years before she died.
If you or someone you know needs help relating to domestic violence, contact Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County’s 24-hour confidential hotline at 425-252-2873.