Man sentenced to 45 years to life for romantic rival’s killing in Point Loma

Court gavel

A man who gunned down a romantic rival outside a Point Loma gym, then fled to Mexico, was sentenced July 15 to 45 years to life in state prison.

Ernesto Castellanos Martinez, 46, pleaded guilty last year to murder and gun-use allegations in the shooting of 27-year-old Alexander Mazin on Feb. 25, 2018. Mazin died at the scene of the shooting outside the 24 Hour Fitness on Midway Drive.

Mazin’s parents told reporters that their son had been going out with a woman Martinez previously dated and that Martinez had assaulted her several weeks before Mazin’s slaying. Mazin and the woman had been dating for about three months at the time of his killing.

Martinez was arrested in Mexico and extradited to San Diego in March 2020. Before his plea, Martinez faced a potential sentence of life without parole had he been convicted of the murder count plus a special-circumstance allegation of lying in wait.

Before Mazin’s parents and brother delivered victim impact statements at Martinez’s sentencing hearing, the defendant said through a Spanish-speaking interpreter, “I don’t want to hear this.” He asked to waive the interpreter’s services for the rest of the hearing, but his request was rejected by San Diego County Superior Court Judge Eugenia Eyherabide.

Mazin’s family members said Mazin worked at a Pacific Beach tattoo removal business, where he often helped felons and former gang members get their tattoos removed to avoid barriers to employment.

Mazin’s father, Jeffrey, a retired surgeon, said he had to give up his life’s work because the grief caused by his son’s death was too much to bear. He said the family’s lives have been “always and forever ruined by the ruthless, senseless, horrendous murder of our Alexander” and called Martinez “the jealous, cowardly excrement of society,” “the embodiment of evil” and “the devil incarnate.”

Penelope Mazin said she still remembers kissing her youngest son goodbye before he left for the gym and was “grateful for that last time to say goodbye.”

Despite the more than four years that have passed since her son’s death, she said, “I still can’t grasp that this evil could have happened to a young man who was so easy to love and who always avoided conflict and did his best to bring beauty and kindness to life.”


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