A couple barricaded for seven hours Tuesday inside two motel rooms in Morgan Hill were arraigned Thursday on felony and misdemeanor charges, a Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney said today. Martin Ceniceros, 29, aka Martin Flores, and Erica Urena Madriz, 29, made their first appearance at the South County Morgan Hill Courthouse since they were arrested Tuesday, Deputy District Attorney Steve Lowney said.
The two are charged with resisting arrest and vandalism at the Morgan Hill Inn at 16250 Monterey St. where they barricaded themselves for seven hours after police tried to question them, Lowney said. Ceniceros, a parolee, was charged with two counts of felony vandalism, two counts of misdemeanor resisting arrest and one count of possession of stolen property, Lowney said. Madriz was arraigned on a single count of felony vandalism and one count of resisting arrest, Lowney said. Neither has entered a plea and their next date to appear at the Morgan Hill courthouse is April 9. Morgan Hill police also booked Ceniceros on suspicion of burglary and possession of a replica firearm by a parolee and Madriz on possession of stolen property and possessing drug paraphernalia but the district attorney’s office declined to file charges, Lowney said.
Police at first identified Ceniceros by the last name of Flores, but prosecutors are charging him under the name Ceniceros, Lowney said. Ceniceros had San Jose and the border town of Calexico listed as residences and Madriz is from Gilroy, police said. The stolen property allegations against Ceniceros came from three license plates located on his Nissan Altima, one plate in the front and two affixed back to back for some reason in the rear of the car, Lowney said. The standoff Tuesday started at about 9:30 a.m. shortly after Morgan Hill police discovered the Altima, in the motel’s parking lot, had the front and back plates reported stolen in San Jose.
Police officers went door to door asking motel guests if the Altima was theirs and after knocking on the suspects’ door, they heard a woman’s voice say, “Hold on, let me get dressed.” Officers then heard the shuffling of furniture against the door to block them from entering the room, police said. Ceniceros at one point allegedly broke down a locked door leading to an adjacent vacant room, entered it and barricaded that room as well, police said. Hostage negotiators tried to convince the two to give up, but Ceniceros “made numerous statements that he would not be taken alive and would not surrender to police and that he would not die alone,” police stated Wednesday in a news release.
Madriz also had the chance to come out but declined, police said. Police decided to end the standoff by firing tear gas through a window and Ceniceros and Madriz emerged from the motel and were arrested at 4:40 p.m. The two were in “a dating relationship,” according to police. Ceniceros, on parole for an assault with a deadly weapon conviction, has a history of arrests for robbery, burglary, narcotics and domestic violence, police said.
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