The family of slain U.S. Marine Daniel Martinez battled bitter wind and their still-powerful emotions outside a Boston courthouse to announce that they will be filing a wrongful death suit this week against Sons of Boston, the bar that employed Martinez’s alleged killer.
Alvaro Omar Larrama, a 39-year-old East Boston father of four who worked as a bouncer at the bar, is charged with stabbing Martinez, 23, to death outside the bar the weekend after St. Patrick’s Day. Boston’s licensing board indefinitely suspended the bar’s licenses earlier this month.
“We have gotten some answers through the licensing board, but the family will not rest until all their questions are answered, and that’s why we’re filing the lawsuit,” said family attorney Thomas Flaws, of the firm Altman Nussbaum & Shunnarah.
The family had first announced their intentions to file the civil suit against the bar at the end of last month. The bar was found not to have run a background check on Larrama before hiring him, a hearing last month found.
Flaws spoke with members of the Martinez family who had traveled from their home south of Chicago to attend Thursday morning’s probable cause hearing at Boston Municipal Court in the murder case against Larrama.
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While the defendant made an appearance — he wore an untucked white dress shirt and dark slacks — the hearing was ultimately continued to June 15, against the objections of defense attorneys.
“It was a moment I’ve waited for for a long time,” Apolonia Martinez, Daniel’s mother, said about attending the hearing, vowing to attend all future hearings. “I needed to see the person who took my son’s life; a 23-year-old Marine who had the whole world in front of him. His whole life ahead of him. I needed him to feel the sorrow and the heartbreak that I feel, that my family feels. I needed him to feel the weight of my tears I have cried. My heart is broken.”
Apolonia Martinez and other family — Daniel had four siblings, including a younger brother, a twin brother, an older brother and an older sister — and friends in attendance sported pins of Daniel’s face, in Marine uniform, over red ribbons on their lapels. Others dressed in T-shirts with his photo.
Daniel’s twin brother, Matthew, said he was hanging out with cousins when he received the call that his brother was dead, leaving him in “shock.” Matthew had dropped Daniel off at the airport for his brother to experience St. Patrick’s Day in Boston, meaning he was the last family member to see him alive.
“I feel if there’s one thing I’ve lost out of this other than my brother, is the shared experiences that I’ve had,” Matthew Martinez told the Herald following the press conference. “You know, I have older brothers, we have our experiences, I have younger brothers, but there’s nothing like me and my twin because we experience things at the same exact time.”
Daniel and Matthew had been there for each other in ways others might not understand if they don’t have a twin.
“I think it’s one of those things where you always have a best friend. I remember when we went to a new school, sometimes people would say, ‘Oh, I don’t have any friends,’” he said. “You never really have to worry about that when you have a twin, because he’s right here.”
But the loss has brought the family a new clarity, Matthew Martinez said, allowing them to “see the bigger picture.”
“And for us,” he said, “the bigger picture is helping other people and spreading awareness.”