Criminal court

Video gamer pleads guilty in West Miami-Dade shooting, gets 25 years in prison

 

Nianthony Martinez, who spent his days immersed in fantasy games, shot and wounded his ex-girlfriend and the woman he blamed for the breakup.

dovalle@MiamiHerald.com

A West Miami-Dade video gamer will spend 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to shooting his ex-girlfriend and the young woman he blamed for stealing her away.

Nianthony Martinez, 26, will also serve 15 years probation after he leaves prison for the May 2008 shooting that nearly killed his ex, Marian Zorrilla, 23, and Oneida Cano, 25.

Martinez, who pleaded guilty last week, faced between 50 years in prison to life behind bars had he been convicted at trial. The former Miami Dade College student had no prior criminal history and had planned to claim he was insane at the time of the shooting.

“It was a reasonable plea deal all round,” said defense attorney, Richard Della Fera.

Martinez’s co-defendant, Angel Gamez, a former Florida International University frat boy who drove Martinez on his mission to kill Cano, last year pleaded guilty and accepted a term of 15 years prison plus 15 years probation.

The would-be killers and their intended victims all knew each other from Coral Park Senior High, where they all were part of the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.

At the time of the shooting, Gamez worked with Florida Power & Light. Martinez lived like a near-recluse in an apartment with his parents in West Miami-Dade, dressing in all black and playing video games all day.

The two men stayed connected through the online fantasy game World of Warcraft, and a card game based on the best-selling Japanese comic book series Naruto.

Martinez had dated Zorrilla for several years. After their break-up, he became fixated on Cano, blaming her for the demise of the relationship.

In May 2008, after weeks of planning and a night of surveillance, Gamez — with Martinez in the passenger seat — pulled up alongside Cano’s car, unleashing a volley of gunfire.

Five rounds hit Cano in the driver seat, piercing her stomach and legs. Zorrilla, in the passenger seat, suffered a wound to the face. A bullet passing clean through her cheeks without even chipping a tooth .

Miraculously, both survived.

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