ST. JAMES, Mo. – A Pennsylvania man has been sentenced to almost 150 years in prison after pleading guilty to the murder of a man at the Economy Inn in St. James.

According to court records, Josue Martinez plead guilty to all five charges against him and was sentenced in a Pulaski County court after a change of venue.

The charges and time he received are listed below. Martinez will serve the counts consecutively.

  • Second-degree murder – 99 years in prison
  • Two counts of armed criminal action – 15 years for each count
  • First-degree robbery – 30 years
  • Tampering with motor vehicle – 5 years

According to the Phelps County Sheriff’s Office, around 8 a.m. on April 21, officers responded to the Economy Inn in St. James in response to a man found dead. The Department says the man was found in the parking lot with knife wounds. The man has been identified as 36-year-old Donald Coy Wethy Jr. of St. James.

Court documents say on April 21, 2021, Martinez was seen stabbing Wethy on surveillance footage from the motel. Just moments before the stabbing, the footage showed Martinez and a Californian woman, Kimberly Riston, talking then hugging and taking something from her pocket and putting it in his. During an interview with investigators, Riston said that was the knife used to stab Wethy.

The Probable Cause statement says after the two went into a motel room, Martinez comes out and is seen later walking to Wethy and cornering him between two doors of a car. A few moments later after Riston comes to meet the men, Martinez stabs Wethy and Wethy tries to run away but trips over a dog Riston had with her. Martinez then continues to stab the man 12 more times then sees he’s not moving and proceeds to search his pockets.

Court records say the two went into Wethy’s car looking for something but were unable to and proceed to leave and walk away leaving Wethy dead in the parking lot.

Riston has also been charged with:

  • First-degree murder
  • Two counts of armed criminal action
  • First-degree robbery
  • First-degree tampering with a motor vehicle