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Migrant camp suspect has 1st court appearance

MANATEE — A man who police say killed another man outside of a migrant camp in the Palmetto area this past weekend remained incarcerated Sunday night.

Faustino Martinez is accused of fatally stabbing a 25-year-old man just before midnight Friday.

Authorities continued their attempts to locate the victim’s family members. Until they are contacted, the man’s identity is being withheld, said Manatee County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Dave Bristow.

Bristow said authorities believe that the victims’ relatives are in Mexico.

“We’re holding off on his identity until we find the next of kin,” Bristow said.

During a first court appearance for Martinez on Sunday, jail records show that a judge set his bond at $500,000.

Records show Martinez is 36 years old and works as a laborer. No additional information was available.

Investigators say that an argument ensued between two men over money at a camp in the 1500 block of 21st Street East. A bottle was broken over a man’s head, reportedly by Martinez.

The man’s older brother stepped into the fight outside of a residence and was stabbed several times. He had wounds to his chest.

He stumbled over to a tree where he collapsed and died shortly after, Capt. Bill Jordan with the sheriff’s office said on the scene early Saturday.

Another man tried breaking up the fight and received a laceration to the hand. The younger brother also had a stab wound, Jordan said. Those injuries were non-life-threatening.

Martinez fled the area after the fight and was arrested in the 1400 block of 17th Street East, according to authorities. Deputies used a sheriff’s dog to find him.

The police K-9 bit Martinez, who was taken to Manatee Memorial Hospital for treatment.

The man’s death marks the 16th homicide this year in Manatee County.

In 2008, there were a total of 17 homicides in the county.