Local News

Sep 24, 2010 4:36 PM by Ariel Wesler

Hate crime suspect has extensive criminal record

The man accused of stabbing a Denny's employee in Santa Maria for being gay has six previous criminal charges. Court records show Curtis Martin, 24, has been charged with three misdemanors and three felonies since 2004. He entered no contest pleas for all the charges, which is treated the same as a guilty plea in criminal cases. His most recent charge was a 2007 felony conviction for making criminal threats.

The incident happened around 3:30 a.m. last Thursday at the Denny's on East Main Street. Santa Maria Police say Martin asked to use the bathroom inside the restaurant. He then asked a Denny's employee if he is gay and stabbed him in the neck. Martin than took off but officers tracked him down and arrested him.

Martin has been booked in the Santa Barbara County Jail on attempted murder and hate crime charges. Today's arraignment was postponed until October 15. Bail is set at $2 million.

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