Jury Recommends 27 Year Sentence for Javon Martin

by Katie Pyzyk February 6, 2013 at 1:45 pm 1,173 33 Comments

Javon Martin (Arlington Police photo)(Updated at 2:10 p.m.) The jury that convicted 25-year-old Javon Martin of robbery and first degree felony murder yesterday for the stabbing of Arlington resident Carl Diener recommends that Martin receive a 27 year sentence.

The jury had the option of recommending sentences up to life in prison for Martin. He is expected to be formally sentenced before Judge Louise DiMatteo in May.

Martin’s cousin and co-defendant, Roger Clark III, pleaded guilty to Diener’s murder last year and will be sentenced at some point in the future. The maximum sentence Clark could receive is 25 years in prison; he was offered a reduced sentence as part of a plea deal for testifying against Martin.

Arlington County sent out the following press release about Martin’s conviction and recommended sentence:

ARLINGTON, Va. – An Arlington County jury yesterday found Javon Martin guilty of murder and robbery for the December 29, 2009 homicide of Carl Diener. Following the guilty finding, the members of the jury recommended a 27 year sentence for Martin, 25, formerly of Washington, D.C. Formal sentencing by Judge Louise DiMatteo is scheduled for a later date.

Theophani K. Stamos, Arlington County Commonwealth’s Attorney and M. Douglas Scott, Arlington County’s Chief of Police made the announcement after the conclusion of the trial.

Diener, 57, a retired federal government employee and a well known and loved member of the Lyon Park community, was found by a passerby stabbed to death lying on the street in the 3200 block of N. 13th Street. As was his practice, he awoke early in the morning to open a local health and fitness club for members. As Mr. Diener was walking from his longtime home to the health and fitness club, he was brutally attacked and left to die.

“From that cold December morning when Mr. Diener’s body was found, the Arlington County Police Department never wavered in their determination to solve this murder, investing hundreds of hours in this investigation,” commented Chief Scott. As a result, murder charges were brought against Roger K. Clark III, 22, of Severn, Maryland, and Javon Martin in June of 2011. Clark pleaded guilty and is currently awaiting sentencing.

Following the trial, Commonwealth’s Attorney Stamos said, “We are extremely grateful to the jury — all of whom worked so hard to reach the right conclusion. Our prayers go out to Carl Diener’s family and hope they will find some comfort in knowing those responsible for his death were held accountable by this community.”

Arlington County Deputy Chief Daniel J. Murray, Commander of the Criminal Investigations Division added, “The Homicide Robbery Unit’s efforts and a strong partnership with the Arlington County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office have resulted in two dangerous individuals being removed from the streets. Unfortunately none of our efforts could ever bring Mr. Diener back and the Arlington community is much poorer for the loss of this great friend to everyone.”

Master Police Officer Rosa Ortiz was the lead detective and the case was prosecuted by Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Molly Newton and Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney John Lynch.

  • Mike Honcho

    27 years for stabbing someone to death! Can’t wait til a 52 y/o murderer is back on the streets. #2040 He’ll probably get parolled, before then, and be back at the same old crap some time in 2027.

    • Buckingham Bandit

      Quite possibly returning to the same neighborhood, with the same crew. After all, where else do you go?

      In a perfect world, give released convicts a voucher for trade school, and a one-way bus ticket to anywhere at least two states away.

    • nom de guerre

      Parole was abolished in Virginia for felonies committed on or after January 1, 1995.

      • Polk

        He can be released after serving 85% of his sentence, if deemed to have served with “good behavior”. He’ll probably get that, most do, to reduce prison population, so he’s got 23 years to serve. He’ll be out before he’s 50. Hopefully he’ll be reformed and live a productive life thereafter. This is difficult, as he’ll have been out of the workforce for 23 years, with a murder conviction that shows up on job applications.

    • Westover

      He won’t get parol in Virginia. But, 27 years is still too short a time for murder.

      • Juror from the Past

        Coming from the mouth and mind of someone that served as a juror on a murder trial a few years back in Los Angeles County, deliberations for these things are horrendous. If 27 years is what the jury recommends, I can only imagine the debates, emotions, research, fact-checking, and sweat that those jurors went through to come up with that number, I , as a citizen, stand by their decision. They came to that number for a reason, and those reasons are solid.

        Support the jury – they went through hell dealing with this, and it wasn’t even their choice in the first place.

    • Backseat Lawyer

      After three hours, the jury said they couldn’t reach a unanimous verdict. They were sent back three times to deliberate. My guess is half the jury still thought he wasn’t guilty, but they compromised by convicting him and giving him the minimum sentence.

  • Clarendon Cruiser

    How about we just drop them both on a desolate island with no chance of escape and let them fend for themselves for the rest of their miserable lives.

    • Quoth the Raven

      The British did that, and we ended up with Australia!

      • Clarendon Cruiser

        Australia is not desolate or an island; also not many murderers in England made it further than the gallows after sentencing.

        I was thinking more like Devils Island in French Guiana

        • Just the Facts

          Australia is not an island…?

          • Boone

            Forget it, he’s rolling.

      • Rory

        Most people deported to Australia were sent for trivial or political offenses. Stealing a scrap of bread during the Irish Pototatoe Famine would get you sent to Australia. Agitating for Catholic voting rights would get you ripped form your family and sent to Australia. After the fairly often irish rebellions, thousands of rebels and supporters wuld be sent there.

        Very few real violent criminals were ever sent there. Most of them were hanged.

        • nom de guerre

          Speaking of Pototatoes, Sam’s Food Truck is offering a holster of hand cut, russet Pototatoes, twice deep fried in peanut oil, lightly salted and served with an Irish curry dipping sauce.

          • What’s Taters

            Boil ’em, mash ’em, stick ’em in a stew. Nowhere does it mention twice deep frying.

  • Garden City

    Take a life and you get 27 years. Really?

  • G::TheNativeArlingtonian

    27 years? That is nauseating. The victim didn’t get another 27 years to spend with friends and family. This guy shouldn’t either.

    • Buckingham Bandit

      Thank you for pointing out that dead people cease to live.

      • Unnecessary Snark


    • KImmie

      Are you really nauseated, or just being a drama queen?

  • novasteve

    At least this isn’t europe. He could have killed 5 people and served only 25 years and be released being completely unrepentent like a RAF member a couple of years ago..

  • GC2

    I’m guessing that Javon is not too happy that his cousin, the one who performed the actual killing, took “the deal” and left Javon at the mercy of the jury. Might cause some disharmony in their families. I would have gone for Life for both of them – send a message out to stop F*%King with Arlingtonians.

    • Mr. Joe

      Actually, Javon is the one who performed the killing. That’s why they let his cousin take the deal.

  • speonjosh

    I suspect there are reasons that the recommended sentence is 27 years versus life. I have no idea what they are, but I have faith in the jury and accept that what they did was reasonable.
    In addition, from a philosophical, moral and logical standpoint, a system of sentencing that did not allow for flexibility would be repugnant.

    • Hee-Haw

      haha, you have a faith in a jury ? good one…

      • R

        Having served jury duty several times in Arlington over the years, I have very little faith in the juries here to dish out appropriate punishments. Take a life in cold blood…if you are lucky enough to avoid the needle, then at least lock them up and throw away the key. Sorry, but the odds are you are not rehabilitating these two scumbags.

  • mickey_

    Only 27 years? He should have been hung at sundown in front of the courthouse! What kind of wimps on that jury did that? I’ll bet if it was their loved one, they wouldn’t have voted for 27 years!

  • Jack

    Why wasn’t the death penalty an option? You criminally take a life, you forfeit the right of your own. End of story.

    • Buckingham Bandit

      Not exactly, but don’t let the law get in the way of your outrage. Capital punishment requires murder in the act of a number of other crimes, such as murder during rape, robbery, arson etc.

      I could be wrong, but I haven’t read anything about this being a robbery, so it’s pretty obvious that capital punishment is not in order.

      Source: 15 seconds on google: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punishment_in_Virginia#Capital_offenses

      • nom de guerre

        I suggest you re-read the first sentence of the article where it mentions he was also convicted of robbery. I’m guessing this crime didn’t involve the premeditated factor that is required for a capital murder charge.

      • Egg, Meet Face

        Ha! Buckingham Bandit goes out of his way to shame someone else (even providing a wikipedia link as support) when the Bandit himself fails to comprehend the very first sentence of the article.

        Might want to take a deep breath before calling someone else out on the ARLNow message boards. Good lesson in life generally as well.

  • bobbytiger

    I’ll see your 27, and raise you another 27.

  • fedworker

    Speaking of jail time. What ever happened to Trev? The jury recommended 40 days. He did the crime but did he do the time?


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