Murder of Fred Martinez Jr. by Shaun Murphy in transgender hate crime examined by Evil Lives Here

Family pic of Fred Martinez Jr.
Fred Martinez Jr. was beaten to death by Shaun Murphy. Pic credit: @UCLAFTVArchive/YouTube

Evil Lives Here: Shadows of Death is investigating the tragic case of Fred “F.C.” Martinez Jr., a transgender Navajo teenager from Cortez, Colorado, who was beaten to death by Shaun Murphy in an apparent hate crime.

On June 16, 2001, 16-year-old Martinez left for a carnival and never returned home again. His remains were discovered five days later by some kids playing in a canyon to the south of Cortez in Montezuma County.

He had been bludgeoned to death.

The investigators discovered a trail of blood descending from a hill above where the body was found, and they found a bloody rock nearby, which was assumed to be the murder weapon.

The victim had been found lying on his back, and the remains were quickly decomposing in the summer heat.

The cops got a breakthrough fairly early on in the case when an anonymous caller to Crimestoppers stated that Shaun Murphy had been bragging that he had “beat up a f**.”

Fred ‘F.C.’ Martinez Jr faced hatred over sexuality

Martinez was openly gay and regularly dressed in female clothing. His sexual orientation earned him constant abuse from fellow students at high school.

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Martinez’s friend, Robin Flores, said he suffered constant anti-gay slurs. She stated, “I know it hurt. I wanted to say something back to those kids, but he’d tell me, ‘No, no, it’s okay — it’s just words.'”

Martinez identified as a “Two Spirit person,” which meant he believed he had both a male and a female spirit inside him and that he could see life through the eyes of both genders.

It is suspected by Martinez’s family, friends, and the LGBTQ community that Murphy murdered him because of a hatred of his sexual orientation.

Mugshot of Shaun Murphy
Shaun Murphy was convicted of second-degree murder. Pic credit: Colorado Dept. of Corrections

Murphy was 18 years old at the time of the murder and already had a record as a violent and troublesome youth. He had been expelled from the Cortez school system.

When Murphy killed Martinez, he was living in Farmington, New Mexico, about 70 miles south of Cortez. He was already on probation in New Mexico over a juvenile offense.

Fred Martinez killer: Shaun Murphy pleaded guilty to second-degree murder

Murphy was transported back to Montezuma County, where he faced a first-degree murder charge and life without parole.

He decided to plead guilty to second-degree murder and was given a 40-year sentence. He continued to maintain that Martinez had been alive when he left him.

In 2019, Murphy was released on parole and moved to Greeley, Co., north of Denver. He was released under supervision, and his freedom comes with some restraints, such as limits on alcohol consumption.

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