Carisoprodol latest news

Jeffrey Martinson wanted a quick trial. He is charged with the first-degree murder of his 5-year-old son, and faces the possibility of the death penalty.

But instead, the 40-year-old Ahwatukee Foothills man will mark his third year in jail next month as his defense teams prepares for what will probably be a long trial, where jurors will have to decide which expert witnesses to believe.

Police say that Joshua Eberle-Martinson was discovered dead on the top bunk of a bedroom in his father’s apartment. Martinson was discovered in the nearby master bedroom, unconscious with cuts on his wrists. All around the apartment, police discovered empty prescription bottles, over-the counter medicine, an empty liquor bottle and plastic bags that may have been used to suffocate the child.

Joshua’s mother, Kristin Eberle, had received several orders of protection from the court against Martinson, who she said repeatedly violated the orders.

Martinson had lost most of the motions she filled in court, asking for sole custody and liberal visitation rights, but in August 2004 he was still allowed to have his son for a weekend visit.

When Martinson didn’t return Joshua on Sunday, Aug. 24, Eberle went to his apartment in the 5100 block of East Piedmont Road. When she couldn’t get an answer, Eberle called police.

When interviewed, Martinson told police he attempted suicide and passed out Saturday night. Martinson told police that when he awoke on Sunday he discovered his son was dead and then tried to commit suicide a second time using Tylenol PM.

The Medical Examiner, Dr. John Hu, wrote that the child was murdered and that the cause was carisoprodol poisoning, with asphyxia a possibility.

Carisoprodol is an active ingredient in Soma, a muscle relaxer, and that will be the crux of the defense’s case.

Wu said that Joshua died from an overdose of Soma, but in a motion filed by the defense, they point out that there is no scientific standard for what is a lethal does of Soma in a 40-pound child.

Despite carisoprodol being found in Joshua’s stomach and blood, the defense wants Wu’s opinions tossed out and have there own expert, Dr. Janet Ophoven, an assistant coroner in rural St. Louis County, Minnesota, who will testify that the cause of death is only Wu’s opinion, and not a scientific fact.

Judge Timothy Ryan set July 13 to schedule hearings on the various motions still pending, including if Wu can say that Joshua died from the carisoprodol/Soma overdose, that must be cleared up before a trial date can be set.