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Four Men Charged with Murder in Man's Fatal Beating

September 26, 2013|By Chris Klint | Channel 2 News

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Updated Sept. 26 at 4:30 p.m.

Four men face murder and robbery charges for allegedly beating a man to death outside a Midtown mental health clinic Wednesday, according to court documents filed Thursday.

The victim is identified as 50-year-old Ferdinand Marquez, who worked seasonally on fishing boats and split time between Alaska and California.

Four suspects have been charged: David Walent, 24; Jerrick Blankenship, 18; and brothers, Lewis Martin, 33, and Matt Martin, 22. 

Police believe Walent initiated and led the attack, and he faces charges of first-degree murder, second-degree murder and first-degree robbery. The other men are charged with second-degree murder and first-degree robbery.

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Marquez' body was discovered just before 7 a.m. Wednesday by an employee of a Tudor Road adult clinic run by Anchorage Community Mental Health Services, according to a police report.

The employee described Marquez as badly wounded and "bleeding heavily from the head" and said he "did not appear to be breathing." Marquez was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Detectives describe a brutal attack that was caught on surveillance footage, one that Sgt. Slawomir Markiewicz says was "just horrible to view, even on the video."

"He didn't do anything to attract the attention or provoke the suspects," Markiewicz says.

In charging documents, police say the footage "shows Marquez being attacked multiple times by four suspects who strike him with a road sign, punch him and kick him."

The affidavit says one of the suspects initiates the attack against Marquez by striking him with a road sign followed by a flurry of punches and kicks. The man allegedly leaves and returns to strike Marquez approximately six times with a different road sign while he was "lying on the ground."

Two of the other suspects are seen punching and kicking Marquez "several times" in the video, according to the charging documents, while a fourth suspect "appears to assault Marquez, but later appears to try to prevent or limit the extent of the assault."

An employee of a nearby Tudor Road liquor store says a man she knew as "Dave" or "David" came into the store around the time of the attack. The man "had what appeared to be blood on his clothing and appeared to have two broken fingers of his right hand," charging documents say.

"Dave told the employee that, 'Some guy messed with him and his friends, so I beat him up,'" the documents say. "'All I got was $10.'"

Police identified the man as Walent, an employee at a restaurant just blocks away, and they learned the suspects lived together in a Laurel Street apartment.

A witness identified Lewis, Blankenship and Walent as the suspects seen in surveillance footage, and police identified Matt as a suspect through interviews.

Each of the suspects has a criminal record.

Walent has a California warrant for a 2011 robbery conviction, Blankenship was convicted in 2010 for burglary and carrying a concealed dagger, and both Martins have a string of convictions burglary and theft.

The suspects are being held without bail at the Anchorage Jail.

Channel 2's Austin Baird and Abby Hancock contributed information to this story.

Contact Chris Klint

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