According to court documents Martin Rojas was upset that Rebecca Black shut down his advances. Rojas would wait for Black to come home and when she arrived she was forced into her home where she was sexually assaulted and murdered. Rojas attempted to start a house fire before fleeing
Martin Rojas would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death
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Chillicothe Correctional Institution
Martin Rojas Case
In 1986, Rojas moved from Denver, Colorado to Cincinnati where he enrolled in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program. Later that year, Rojas attended the Voice of Calvary Church and met Scott. They became friends. Scott devoted herself to weaning Rojas from drugs and alcohol; however, Rojas apparently wanted Scott as his girlfriend. Because Rojas had struck Scott several times, they went together on May 13 to the home of Edna White, a lay minister and speaker for the church. Becky exhibited bruises on her neck and arm. White, Becky and Rojas prayed together for Rojas to reform. On May 14, Becky told Rojas she did not want to see him again. According to his later confessions, Rojas decided to kill Scott after she rejected him on May 14. That afternoon, he purchased a filleting knife, telling the clerk that it was a gift for a bachelor party. He then called Scott, who refused to meet him at her apartment building. But she did agree to meet him at a nearby restaurant at 6:30 p.m. Rojas then went to Scott’s apartment and hid outside in the hallway. Around 6:15 p.m., when Scott left to go to their meeting, Rojas confronted her, pulled her by the hair, chased her into the apartment, and stabbed her in the back. After stabbing Scott, Rojas removed her clothes and his clothes and raped her twice. In two confessions, Rojas admitted that Scott was still alive when he had intercourse,
and the coroner estimated she lived from one to three hours after the knife wounds were inflicted. According to Rojas, Becky told him, as she was bleeding to death, that she loved him and forgave him, that God also loved him and forgave him for what he had done. According to his confessions, Rojas stayed in Scott’s apartment for approximately five and one-half hours. He stole $25 from her purse and washed and dried his clothes to remove the blood. From a gallon container, he spread a highly flammable gel paint-and-varnish remover throughout the apartment so that a resulting fire would destroy the crime scene. He disconnected the kitchen stove to create a natural gas leak and he lit several candles around the apartment. He left at midnight. When he arrived home, he hid the clothes he had been wearing. On May 15, Rojas called Edna White. He told her he had killed Scott. “She’s with Jesus,” he said. He also said he intended to kill himself by jumping off a bridge. Instead, Rojas cashed his paycheck and took a 12:50 p.m. bus to Denver, Colorado. After Rojas’ telephone call, White called a copy center, where Scott worked (located on the ground floor in Scott’s apartment building). White asked that someone check on Scott. Daniel Krieger, a copy center employee, climbed an outside fire escape to Scott’s third floor apartment. Once inside, Krieger discovered Scott’s body cold and naked on her bedroom floor. Krieger summoned co-worker Daniel Engle, and another co-worker called the police. An opened kitchen window had apparently prevented the gas from reaching an explosive level. Krieger, Engle and the police turned the gas off, extinguished the candles, and opened other windows. No fire or explosion occurred. Police found a highly flammable pink gel, containing methanol, acetone, methylene chloride, and toluene, spread throughout the apartment. Police detected acetone and toluene on a pair of Rojas’ shoes recovered from where Rojas lived. Police found candles on Scott’s kitchen stove, in the dining room, and on the bedroom floor near Scott’s feet. The physical evidence corroborated the confessions made by Rojas. In the kitchen, police found the murder knife and the sales receipt for the knife. The receipt contained Rojas’ fingerprint. Police found Rojas’ fingerprints or palm prints elsewhere in the apartment, and they found the red gift box for the knife just outside Scott’s apartment where Rojas had discarded it. Police also found Rojas’ fingerprints on the gift box and on the tissue paper inside. The store clerk who sold Rojas the knife identified Rojas, the knife, the sales receipt, and the gift box.