Man faces death penalty after 2 bodies found in Ocala National Forest

Jose Manuel Martinez is confessed hit man for a Mexican drug cartel

(Photo courtesy of MCSO)

OCALA, Fla. – A confessed hit man for a Mexican drug cartel faces the death penalty in Florida for killing two men over a drug debt.

The Ocala Star-Banner reports Jose Manuel Martinez was convicted Thursday of first-degree murder. Jurors will return next week to recommend execution or life in prison. All 12 jurors must agree for Martinez to receive the death penalty.

Authorities say Martinez fatally shot 20-year-old Javier Huerta and 28-year-old Gustavo Olivares in November 2006 because of a debt over 10 kilograms of cocaine. Their bodies were found in a pickup truck near the Ocala National Forest.

Martinez's DNA was found on a cigarette in the truck. He was arrested in 2013 at the Arizona-Mexico border.

Martinez told investigators that he's killed more than 30 people. He's been convicted of 10 killings and one attempted murder.