ME's office: Murder victim shot 7 times, stabbed 13

George Pena accused of stuffing childhood friend's body in barrel

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SAN ANTONIO – A forensic pathologist testified Thursday in a murder trial that a 43-year-old man was shot seven times and stabbed 13 times before police said the victim's body was stuffed in a barrel by his childhood friend.

"There is not a slam-dunk single gunshot wound that did the job. There is not single cut that necessarily was immediately his cause of death," said Samantha Evans, of the Bexar County Medical Examiner's Office. "The cause of his death is a combination of those gunshot wounds and those sharp force injuries."

Evans testified in the murder trial of George Pena, who is charged in the April 2018 death of Juan Ramiro Martinez.

Detective Tom McKnelly, of the San Antonio Police Department, testified about making the grisly discovery in Pena's backyard.

"I remember seeing a barrel that I was told that the deceased was inside of," McKnelly said.

The jury viewed SAPD crime scene video that showed Martinez's body in the barrel.

Prosecutors said the men had been arguing over accusations that Martinez had been stealing from Pena when the argument turned deadly.

Pena's lawyer claims that Martinez had a knife and his client had a .22-caliber rifle.

Police never found a weapon.

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