Image from Facebook: Holly Martinez filed for divorce in January, after 17 years of marriage. Her husband, Paul Martinez, is accused of murdering her on Monday, June 18.
Image from Facebook: Holly Martinez filed for divorce in January, after 17 years of marriage. Her husband, Paul Martinez, is accused of murdering her on Monday, June 18.

When Holly Martinez filed for divorce in January, she wrote her children were afraid of their father. She stated she and her three kids had to walk on eggshells because of his volatility, never knowing what they said or did to upset him.

Paul Anthony Martinez dialed 911 twice after 9 p.m. on June 18, according to charging papers. The first time, the 49-year-old was out of breath and told the dispatcher to “just send the Sheriff quickly.” During the second call, he said he had a fight with his wife, according to court documents — he had a weapon, and she was hurt and needed help.

One of their children had found their 45-year-old mother shot dead in the family’s Snohomish home. Snohomish County Sheriff’s deputies arrived at the scene and immediately began CPR, according to an agency news release.

Deputies questioned the couple’s three teenagers, who were all home at the time of the argument, and arrested Paul Martinez as the only a suspect in his wife’s death.

Holly Martinez was an educator in the Everett School District. She became the principal at Forest View Elementary School in 2010.

Everett Public Schools posted on social media after Holly’s death that she was a highly respected leader and loving mother, who touched the lives of many students and staff during her career with the school district.

“As you can imagine, we are at a loss for words to express the depth of our shock and sadness,” according to Everett Public Schools. “The tragedy of Holly’s death calls us to be our best selves and continue to care for one another.”

Paul and Holly Martinez were married in Arizona in 2001, according to court documents. The couple had three children —12, 14 and 17. The family moved to Washington in 2008, so Paul could get his masters degree in counseling. He wrote he later dropped out, while his wife wrote he was dropped from the program, according to court documents.

Paul had a history of trying out new careers and abandoning them shortly into the pursuit, Holly wrote in court documents. At the time she filed for divorce, he was in a three-month vocational training program.

After they settled in Washington, Holly alleged Paul had an affair with a coworker. She had taken a job as an elementary school principal, which meant spending less time at home. Paul allegedly complained about the duties he assumed as a stay-at-home parent, and ultimately reportedly failed to build a healthy environment for their children, she claimed in court filings.

On top of her 60-hour workweek, Holly Martinez reportedly took care of the laundry, cooking, driving and homework support, among other responsibilities Paul was not taking care of, she wrote. Holly alleged her husband was unreliable and rarely participated in family activities, she wrote.

“He is often angry, irritable and resentful and during these times the kids chose to avoid him as not to escalate conflict,” she wrote.

Paul Martinez was reportedly diagnosed with severe depression by more than one treatment provider, and stopped taking prescribed medication.

Holly Martinez reported being diagnosed with situational depression, for which she was prescribed medication. She took it until her doctor told her she no longer needed it, she wrote.

Holly wrote she knew Paul had a gun. She didn’t have the combination to the safe it was kept in, and was aware he had wanted to use it.

Paul refuted nearly all of Holly’s accusations of his behavior in his responses. He wrote in his statements that she assaulted him on three occasions over a 13-year period. The children only treated him poorly because she did, he wrote.

Paul wrote the counseling sessions they took together felt one-sided. He wrote he wanted her to take more responsibility for the state of their relationship. How he punished their children — taking the phone when they weren’t using them appropriately — was exaggerated, he wrote, and what he did were reasonable responses to their actions.

A witness who heard Paul’s calls the night his wife was killed reports he was “eerily calm considering the circumstances,” according to charging documents. He reportedly sounded like he was trying not to wake other people up in the house.

Earlier that night he reportedly texted one of their children about coming over to get a hat for work. The child stated his father was acting odd when he was let into the house, according to court documents. Once Holly got home, he went upstairs to get something. Then, when he was up there for 10 minutes, she followed.

The kids reportedly heard banging and Holly yelling. Law enforcement could not find any criminal history. The weapon used in the fight has not been found, according to charging papers.

Bail has been set at $1 million for Paul’s release. His next court hearing is on July 6.