Man accused in choking death of former girlfriend will go to trial

Stella Martinez was in a coma after police say her ex-boyfriend Christopher Wood choked her on June 4. (Photo provided)

A man who police say they saw choking his former girlfriend to death is going to trial.

Christopher Wood is pleading not guilty to the charges against him, including open murder, attempted burglary, and attempted home invasion.

Stella Martinez succumbed to the brain injuries investigators say Wood, her ex-boyfriend, left her with after the strangulation. Martinez was hospitalized and placed on a ventilator before her death.

In early June, police officers were called to a home near Sahara Avenue and Hualapai Way on reports of a man trying to break in. The arriving officer says after he got there, he saw Wood in the backyard choking Martinez, while also pulling out her hair.

The trial phase of this case will begin getting laid out in one week. Trial setting is scheduled for Sept. 19.

In the meantime, Martinez's family is partnering with Safe House, a local domestic violence shelter for women and children.

Through the Rollin' Bonez RC group, the family is holding a community fundraiser called "Stella's Fight" for victim's of domestic violence on Oct. 1. To learn more, CLICK HERE.

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