General Crime

* Ernest Martinez Pleaded Not Guilty to Charges of Attempted Murder and Assault in Santa Rosa

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???? A Santa Rosa man charged with attempted murder and assault in connection with a stabbing at a bus stop and a residential robbery and assault last week pleaded not guilty to drug possession charges this afternoon. Ernest Martinez, 52, pleaded not guilty in Sonoma County Superior Court to possession of methamphetamine and bringing the drug into Sonoma County Jail. Martinez pleaded not guilty Friday to the attempted stabbing murder of 53-year-old Edward James Sr. at a bus stop at 3180 Santa Rosa Ave. just south of Santa Rosa around 11:50 a.m. on Aug. 8.

 James was taken to a hospital. The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office said Martinez got out of a gold Chevrolet Silverado and allegedly stabbed James after an argument. The male driver of the truck is still being sought. Martinez is charged with attempted murder and assault in that case. He also pleaded not guilty Friday to allegedly assaulting and robbing another acquaintance, Morris Dumanske, 54, at gunpoint at a residence in the 200 block of Magnolia Avenue in Santa Rosa around 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 8. Dumanske suffered a head wound and also was hospitalized.

The attempted murder charge, two assault charges, a burglary charge and a robbery charge from both those incidents have been combined into one complaint, but the drug charge is separate. Martinez’s brother, Edward Martinez, 50, also is charged with robbery, burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, and conspiracy in connection with the Magnolia Avenue incident.

 He pleaded not guilty to the charges this afternoon. Edward Martinez is being held in the county jail on $70,000 bail. Ernest Martinez is being held in the county jail on $1 million bail. Judge Ken Gnoss noted Ernest Martinez has two prior strike convictions and a prior prison sentence. Both men face a preliminary hearing on Aug. 25.

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