Boyfriend charged with murder of 2 year old, tried to blame death on her brother

Houston, Texas: 26-year-old Jehu Martinez has been arrested and charged with one count of felony murder for the November 2021 death of 2-year-old Zyre Ornelas.

 

After his arrest in February his bond was set at $70,000 and he has since been released from custody. He is due to be back in court on April 28, 2022 according to Law and Crime.

 

In court documents seen by KHOU, Zyre was found to have two skull fractures and bruising on her inner thigh and chest area.

 

"Dr. Phatak stated the injuries were consistent with the Victim being swung around with her head striking a piece of furniture causing a displaced skull fracture," the affidavit said.

 

Additionally, she was found to have old injuries in various states of healing such as multiple rib fractures and calluses. Dr. Phatak stated that these injuries were not consistent with CPR.

 

Her injuries were determined to not be consistent with the story that Martinez had presented to investigators.

 

According to court documents, Martinez explained that the morning of her injuries, on November 24, 2021, the girl's mother left for work at approximately 7:00 am. At that time, he and Zyre were sleeping in the bed.

 

Martinez said that at around 8:30 he got up to use the restroom and returned between five and seven minutes later after hearing a loud noise. He then allegedly found Zyre on the floor.

 

Martinez alleged that he asked the girl's 5-year-old brother what had happened and was told that she had fallen. Martinez reported that he then held Zyre until she stopped crying, gave her something, and then reported that she began coughing up mucus at around 5:00 pm.

 

Martinez called Zyre's mother who soon returned home.

 

Zyre was taken to the hospital and underwent brain surgery on November 26 according to KHOU. She was pronounced brain dead on November 27 and removed from life support.

 

When searching Martinez' phone, investigators located an image from October 12 which showed a large bruise, approximately the size of an adult's hand on Zyre's head.

 

In text messages sent to Zyre's mother in November, Martinez was observed saying that Zyre "didn't respect him" and "lashed out at him when he attempted to wash her in the shower." He alleged that the girl "fell in the shower, but he saved her from hitting her head, so her injury was not as bad as it could have been." Ultimately though, he blamed the injury on Zyre saying, "if she listened it would go smoothly."