UPDATE: Penalty phase testimony concludes in Martinez trial

LAWTON,Okla_Testimony has wrapped up in the penalty phase of the Mica Martinez double murder trial. Monday the defense rested its case in their fight to save Martinez from the death penalty and Tuesday it will be up to the jury.

Jurors found Martinez guilty last Thursday in the murders of Carl and Martha Miller.  On Friday, the prosecution presented its witnesses, including two family members of the victims, trying to persuade the jury to sentence Martinez to death.

Monday the defense took over the courtroom and presented witnesses who begged the jury to spare Martinez's life. His attorney's told jurors they wanted them to see Martinez as a flawed human being who made some terrible mistakes but was not a monster. They asked jurors to keep an open mind as witnesses testified as to why Martinez' life has value and why it should be spared. 

Martinez sat stone faced as his attorneys told jurors that they were about to get an in-depth insight into his mind and later, his heart. Jurors first heard from Norma Villanueva, a clinical social worker and mitigation specialist, who did an extensive profile on Martinez. She told jurors several critical issues in his life led to his violent behavior. She says Martinez was crushed when he learned as a teenager that his mother was actually his maternal grandmother and that his sister was actually his mother. 

Villanueva said the bullying he claims he suffered in school combined with alleged sexual abuse damaged his already broken self esteem, causing him to turn to alcohol, drugs and other violent behaviors. She  told jurors that his mother was the foundation of the Martinez family and when she died, it sent him over an emotionally unstable cliff.

The prosecution questioned Villanueva's methods and asked her why she did not test Martinez for anger issues. He also asked why she did not consider validated reports of violence from his ex-girlfriends and acquaintances in her report.

The defense then brought Martinez's young sons, Malachi and Timothy, who told jurors that he is a good father who remains in contact with them from jail. Katherine Sobo, Martinez's older sister, was the last witness to beg jurors to spare his life. She testified that shortly before the murders, she told Martinez to get help for his out of control drinking. She said her brother has problems but maintained that he is a good father, brother, and son. 

The prosecution asked whether she knew about his violent behavior, even towards their father. She admitted that she was surprised to hear some of that but didn't waiver in her plea to the jury for her brother's life.

Several jailers also took the stand to testify that Martinez has been following the rules behind bars and has been pretty low key. MMartinez has displayed no emotion during the entire trial, in fact he was often seen looking down. In court Monday, he began to twitch as his sister was testifying.

Before jurors were sent home for the day, the judge told them they have a serious and important decision to make.  Closing arguments are set for Tuesday morning, and then the jury will begin deciding whether Martinez lives or dies.