Man sentenced to 15 years in prison for assaulting SAISD detective before he was fatally run over

Relatives of Cliff Martinez called Alfredo Martinez-Contreras a ‘monster,’ said he got light sentence in plea deal

SAN ANTONIO – A man once charged with the capital murder of a police officer was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Alfredo Martinez-Contreras was sentenced on Monday morning after accepting a plea deal on a lesser charge of assault of a peace officer causing bodily injury. He could be eligible for parole in under four years.

Martinez-Contreras was one of two men charged with running over SAISD Det. Cliff Martinez outside a South Side IHOP on Dec. 21, 2019.

The co-defendant in the case, Jorge Armando Lopez, took a 20-year plea deal in November 2022 on a manslaughter charge.

The DA’s office said that there wasn’t enough evidence to even prove Martinez-Contreras was in the vehicle that hit Martinez.

The family of Martinez were not happy with either plea and spoke with KSAT last week about being upset with the district attorney’s office.

In court on Monday, relatives told Martinez-Contreras that he got a “very, very light” sentence and called him a “monster.”

“The world is a worse place without Cliff and even worse knowing that you’re still in it and will be back on the streets in 15 years,” a relative said during victim impact statements.

See Monday’s proceedings in the video player above.

The District Attorney’s Office released the following statement from DA Joe Gonzales following the sentencing:

“I understand the frustration of Officer Martinez’s family and my heart goes out to them. Officer Martinez had a personal connection to our office as he was the best friend of one of our investigators. Seeking justice on his behalf was and is personal to our entire trial team. Our commitment to upholding justice requires that we follow where the evidence leads and making sure that guilty people do not go free. In this case, rather than potentially going free, the defendant is being punished with time in the state penitentiary, said District Attorney Joe Gonzales. “I have tremendous respect for public servants like Officer Martinez and for his family. It never feels like justice when a family and a community lose someone like Cliff Martinez. I know that – but I also know that we must always follow the law.”

Last week, after Martinez’s family spoke with KSAT, District Attorney Joe Gonzales responded about the case.

“The evidence that we have is, it was in dispute whether or not he was even at the scene, we believe this defendant had already left the scene,” Gonzales said.


About the Authors:

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.

Misael started at KSAT-TV as a photojournalist in 1987.