A trial has finally begun for a man whose scheme to stay out of jail was nothing more than a forged doctor's note.
Michael Dale Martinez, 53, whose criminal history includes 10 prior convictions, was supposed to be sentenced for burglary, credit card fraud and identity theft in February, until he told a judge that he had a heart surgery scheduled for two days later.
His original crime was using false checks with the address of a fake Burlingame business at Costco in South San Francisco.
According to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office, Martinez presented a judge with a note supposedly from Doctor Steve Hassid, verifying the surgery. Initially, Judge Craig Parsons believed the note to be real and granted an extension of the sentencing.
Shortly thereafter, the daughter of Martinez's girlfriend, who happens to be one of Martinez's victims of identity theft, complained to the court that the doctor's note was fabricated, leading the prosecutor to examine the document more closely. Upon inspection, DA's Office notes show that the judge found the note to be accidentally labeled 2012 instead of 2013 and strangely included the names of several county supervisors at the bottom.
The DA's Office contacted Dr. Hassid who confirmed that he had not seen Martinez since August, 2012, and that Martinez had fabricated the entire document.
Martinez was arrested with a new charge of filing a false document with the court and has being held on $250,000 bail.
His trial was scheduled to begin at 8:45 Thursday morning.