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Slain parole agent remembered as ‘everything’ to those he leaves behind

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Slain parole agent remembered as ‘everything’ to those he leaves behind

Jun 22, 2024 | 4:25 pm ET
By John Rydell
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Slain parole agent remembered as ‘everything’ to those he leaves behind
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Officers stand vigil by the casket of slain Parole and Probation Agent Davis Martinez at the Living Word International Christian Church in Silver Spring on Saturday. Photo by Lt. Tonya Caver/DPSCS.

More than 1,000 mourners, including scores of law enforcement officers from as far away as Connecticut, gathered Saturday for an emotional farewell to Maryland Parole and Probation Agent Davis G. Martinez, who was killed May 31 in the line of duty.

Martinez became the first parole and probation agent in Maryland to be killed in the line of duty. The six-year veteran of the Division of Parole and Probation was found dead in the Chevy Chase home of a convicted sex offender who was on parole and whom Martinez was checking in on when he was killed.

During the 90-minute service Saturday at Living Word International Christian Church in Silver Spring, Martinez was fondly remembered as both a friend and family member, and as an agent dedicated to public safety.

Gov. Wes Moore (D), who occasionally slipped into Spanish during his eulogy, told Martinez’s family that the late agent’s “spirit is with us all.”

Moore also indirectly addressed the circumstances surrounding the brutal killing of Martinez, who was found stabbed and beaten in the home of Emanuel Edward Sewell.

“The pain that this family is feeling is unbearably unfair, because he still should be with us today,” Moore said. “And we have to commit that we continue to be together to ensure that something like this should never and will never happen again.”

Slain parole agent remembered as ‘everything’ to those he leaves behind
Maryland Parole and Probation Agent Davis Martinez became the first to die in the line of duty when he was killed during on May 31. Photo courtesy Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

Carolyn Scruggs, secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, said Martinez’s sudden death has profoundly impacted the department.

“We are here today in numbers, because we too have lost a member of our family, as you, like us … struggle to make sense of his short life here on Earth,” she said.

In the wake of Martinez’s killing, the department temporarily suspended home visits by parole and probation agents, a move that has long been called for by union officials who say Martinez’s death was preventable. Three top officials in the division were also replaced within days of Martinez’s killing.

Sewell, 54, was arrested in West Virginia a day after Martinez’s body was found. He was returned to Montgomery County where he has been charged with first-degree murder in the killing and is being held without bond.

Sewell was sentenced to 40 years for burglary and sex offenses in 1996, but served 24 and was on supervised release after finishing his jail time in 2021. Martinez was last seen visiting Sewell on the morning of May 31 to make sure he was living at his listed address in the 2800 block of Terrace Drive in Chevy Chase.

Martinez, who was 33, grew up in Silver Spring and received a bachelor’s degree in criminology and criminal justice from the University of Maryland. He was the first in his family to graduate from college.

His brother, Michael Garcia, said “Davis was my biggest cheerleader.”

“Davis’ reassurance made me realize that there was nothing to fear,” Michael said.

Mourners also heard a tearful tribute from Gypsy Barrientos, Martinez’s girlfriend of five months.

“When people ask me to describe you in one word, I tell them ‘everything’ – everything that anyone would want in a son, a brother and a lover,” Barrientos said.

In addition to his brother Michael, Martinez is survived by another brother and his mother. His father died less than one year ago.