Man sentenced to 15 years for girlfriend’s death


Shay Martinez, 29, died on September 12, 2017 from a brain bleed

Jose Funes-Zelaya, left, was sentenced on July 10, 2019 to 15 years in prison for recklessly causing the death of Shay Martinez, right, on September 11,. 2017 (KOIN file)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A man will spend 15 years behind bars after prosecutors say he threw his girlfriend across the room, causing a fatal brain injury.

Shay Martinez, 29, died on September 12, 2017, after she was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. She was reportedly vomiting blood and her eyes and face were swollen.

Doctors grew suspicious about the extent of her injuries, leading to the arrest of Martinez’ boyfriend, Jose Funes-Zelaya.

During the investigation, Funes-Zelaya told police Martinez “must have sustained her head injuries from him throwing her 10-11 feet across his bedroom…” according to court documents.

Mom ‘stunned’ after daughter dies of domestic violence

Funes-Zelaya told police after he threw Martinez, she started to bleed from her nose and that he cleaned up the blood with clothing and put her in bed, according to court documents. Funes-Zelaya told police he left her in bed around 5 a.m. on September 10 and did not check on her again until 3 p.m. that day. When Funes-Zelaya did check on Martinez she would not respond but did have a pulse, according to court documents. Funes-Zelaya decided to take Martinez to the hospital around 10 p.m. on September 10.

Martinez died from the bleeding in her brain.

The victim’s mother, Joann Gonzaga, told KOIN 6 News at the time that there were no warning signs the relationship was abusive.

She said her daughter was someone who could “warm your heart in a heartbeat.”

“We always say ‘I love you.’ Those are the last three words I said to my baby girl,” Gonzaga said.

In court, Gonzaga addressed Funes-Zelaya, saying “I trusted you to love and not harm her. My life has been horrible since you chose to take my daughter away from me. …[Shay] had more gusto than people twice as big as her.”

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office said Funes-Zelaya was charged with manslaughter because, “In order to be found guilty of murder, the state must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that someone committed that crime intentionally,” Deputy DA Kelley Rhoades said.

Funes-Zelaya pleaded guilty to the charge against him and on top of his 15-year sentence, must pay $5,000 in restitution.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

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