An Elmont man was arraigned on a grand jury indictment for the alleged June 17 murder of his ex-girlfriend at Belmont Racetrack, Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced Tuesday.
Jose Franco-Martinez, 53, allegedly stabbed his ex-girlfriend, Maria Larin, multiple times around her body with a silver kitchen knife as she was working with horses on the track, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Franco-Martinez was upset with Larin after their romantic relationship ended, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Franco-Martinez allegedly paid an acquaintance on June 16 to drive him from Kansas, where he was working, to New York to kill Larin, he District Attorney’s office said.
Larin, a hot walker, cools the horses down after racing.
A co-worker of Larin’s who saw what happened picked up a shovel and hit the defendant in the head with it, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Franco-Martinez then ran away and threw the knife into the bushes while security staff from the New York Racing Association chased him, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Franco-Martinez was apprehended by the racing security staff and the police were called, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
“This defendant allegedly drove from Kansas to brutally murder Maria Larin, his ex-girlfriend, and an innocent mother, as she worked with horses at the Belmont Stakes racetrack,” Singas said in a release. “I’m grateful to Belmont staff and security for their quick action to stop and apprehend this alleged killer and my heart goes out to her family as they grieve this unspeakable loss.”
Franco-Martinez previously worked as a hot walker at Belmont, too.
Franco-Martinez was remanded during his arraignment before Supreme Court Justice Angelo Delligatti and is due back in court on September 5.
He is charged with second-degree murder and fourth-degree possession of a weapon.
Senior District Attorney Stefanie Palma of Singas’ Major Offense Bureau is prosecuting this case.
The defendant is represented by attorney Dana Grossblatt.
Efforts to reach Grossblatt were unavailing.