“Thanks to Telmate’s technology, this solid piece of evidence led to the conviction of Mr. Martinez,” said Sibley. “Without it we would have been stuck with dead end lead.”
Detective Jim Sibley of the Griffith, Indiana Police Department
On March 28, 2013, Ralph Martinez was charged with the murder, robbery, and confinement of Mary Austgen. Austgen was found dead from a gunshot wound in her vehicle at a casino parking lot on March 28. Prior to his arrest, photos from surveillance video of the suspect taken at the crime scene were released to the media to help identify him, but no leads were found.
During Martinez’s incarceration at the Lake County, Indiana Jail, Detective Jim Sibley of the Griffith, Indiana Police Department, began monitoring his jailhouse calls and remote video visits using Telmate Investigator. The suite of investigator tools is linked to the jail’s communication system and allows law enforcement to review live and past calls and visits, as well as analyze key inmate relationships with people on the outside.
Telmate Investigator is a part of Telmate’s SmartJail Solution that benefits facilities by offering modular communications, entertainment, education, and software services. Facilities can monitor inmate activities via the Telmate Command web-based admin interface and turn data into actionable, crime-solving intelligence.
Prior to Telmate being installed at the jail, Sibley had to go through the time-consuming process of putting in requests for discs of inmate calls in order to review them. With access to Telmate Investigator, he could look for evidence on a daily basis and quickly discovered a video dated June 17, 2013, where Martinez had a remote visit with his daughter. During this visit, Martinez can be heard admitting that it was him in the pictures (in reference to media-released photos) but giving an alibi for why he was there.
Unbeknownst to Martinez, Detective Sibley had additional video from the business that showed Martinez not only armed with a handgun, but attacking Mary Austgen and leaving the business together in her vehicle. The incriminating video call was presented as evidence in Martinez’s trial and played a valuable role in his conviction on August 21st, 2015, according to the detective.