Gang homicide trial delayed

A trial was delayed again Thursday for an alleged Dos Palos gang member accused of stabbing a rival to death in 2012.

Edwin C. Martinez, 22, has pleaded not guilty to murder in connection with the Jan. 5, 2012, death of 21-year-old Juan Carlos Cuadras. The victim was stabbed outside a home in the 2000 block of Walnut Avenue in Dos Palos and died a short time later at Memorial Hospital in Dos Palos, authorities said.

Defense attorney William Davis declared an unspecified conflict of interest and removed himself from the case, according to authorities.

Martinez has changed attorneys multiple times since his arrest in 2012, according to Merced Superior Court records.

Both sides appear again next week before Judge Mark V. Bacciarini to confirm Martinez’s new attorney, according to Steve Slocum, the Merced County deputy district attorney prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Martinez faces a potential life prison sentence, officials have said.

Cuadras may have intervened in an argument between Martinez and a woman during a small gathering at the home. Cuadras and Martinez apparently exchanged words and Cuadras was stabbed, according to the Dos Palos Police Department.

Martinez remains in custody without bail at the Merced County jail.