Family of Brownsville museum director's killer speaks out

Barry Horn File Photo

It was a turn of events Monday, that not event the Cameron County District Attorney's prosecutors said they saw coming.

An hour before jury selection was to begin, 21-year-old Ernesto Ivan Martinez, plead no contest to brutally stabbing Brownsville Museum Director Barry Horn.

Horn was stabbed approximately 70 times in his home back in October 2009.

According to Martinez TMs Defense Attorney Al Padilla, Judge Elia Cornejo Lopez left them no choice.

Padilla said the judge refused to allow arguments of involuntary manslaughter, nor would she allow evidence regarding the sexual conduct of the victim.

Shortly after the sentencing, the defense announced they would appeal the case. Padilla said he would file the written notice for a new trial on Tuesday.

Martinez TMs family is upset about the developments, saying horn's behavior pushed Martinez over the edge.

One of Martinez TMs cousins spoke to Action 4 News, but did not want to be identified.

The teen said he too witnessed some of Horn's alleged wild behavior.

"Barry would throw parties at his house, Martinez TMs cousin said. And he always had drugs - he'd have cookies with marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, crack cocaine."

The teen claims Horn held these drug-filled parties to take advantage of his guests.

While Martinez TMs cousin said he knows what his cousin did was wrong, he said Martinez only acted in self-defense and in moment of fury.

"Horn tried to rape him, so even if you're not a bad person, when someone does something bad to you, you're going to defend yourself," the teen said. "My cousin is a good person - Barry was a dirty man - I mean he used to pay teens to have sex with him."