Soldier Acquitted in Controversial Murder Trial Dies of Unspecified Causes

An unexpected end brings delayed justice to fallen soldiers' families, publishes

Just over eight years after a military jury acquitted him of murder, former National Guardsman Alberto Martinez died in Florida of unspecified causes. A native of Puerto Rico, Martinez moved to the Troy, NY area and joined the 42nd Infantry Division. In what many people compared to the notorious OJ Simpson trial, the acquittal of Martinez after the military rejected his guilty plea enraged the families and sent shock waves throughout the military.

Lt. Louis Allen and Captain Phillip Esposito were playing a board game in Esposito's office when a claymore mine, engraved with "Front Toward Enemy" detonated outside the window. Both men died within hours after the explosion. Allen was a high school teacher and father of four young sons. Esposito was a West Point graduate and father of a young daughter. The deaths were the only two casualties on FOB Danger in Tikrit, Iraq throughout its use as an American base.

The deaths were ruled a homicide, and an investigation revealed longstanding animosity between Martinez and Esposito. Allen was specifically ordered to Iraq to serve as Operations Officer, helping Esposito restore order to supply while Esposito initiated an Article 15 non-judicial punishment against Martinez for numerous infractions. The result could have led to Martinez losing his livelihood. Witnesses at trial testified to hundreds of threats Martinez made against Captain Esposito, none of which were reported.

The family of slain officer Lt. Louis Allen expressed relief at what they consider to be delayed justice. Allen's family has been in a decade-long battle with the military to posthumously award Allen the Purple Heart and implement change in policies to protect other soldiers from similar instances.

Barb Allen has become an advocate for military families and wrote a book, Front Toward Enemy, about this case. She shares her story in keynote speeches and is Co-Founder of online magazine,

Upon word of Martinez's death, Barbara stated, "I find it ironic that he surely would have lived longer had he been convicted or even sentenced to death as the military does not actually follow through on death sentences anyway. I hope his children overcome their father's legacy of evil and destruction and that all of our families can begin to heal now that Fate has held him more accountable than the military ever did."

About Barb Allen Writes:

Barb Allen Is A Gold Star Wife, Author and National Speaker. She's a professional veterans' advocate who understands the personal and factual struggles of turning adversity into advantage, but this lesson did not come easily, and this upper hand must be diligently maintained. Now, Barbara brings her life lessons to her audiences in keynote speeches and custom programs. She relates to her audiences' lives and challenges and teaches them how to become gladiators in their own life's arena. She recently started an online magazine at

Contact Info:
Name: Barb Allen
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Organization: Barb Allen Writes
Phone: (929) 269-4010

Release ID: 167681