Gibsonton man, accused of burying murder victim in shallow grave, returns to court

Booking image for Edgar Martinez

A man accused of murdering another man – and trying to get rid of the body – heads to court Friday morning.

The victim, 29-year-old Marquise Hassell, was killed last month, according the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. Officials said the suspect, 32-year-old Edgar Martinez, attempted to cover up the murder by burning the victim’s body and buying him on a property in Gibsonton.

Crime scene detectives and forensic teams swarmed a home on East Bay Road about two weeks ago. That’s where Hassell’s body was found in a shallow grave, officials said. 

The details surrounding his remains are gruesome, detective said. The body was found dismembered, and it appeared someone was in the process of burning those remains in a freshly-dug hole in the backyard of the home. 

Before the disturbing discovery, detectives were told by witnesses they said Martinez standing on a back porch of the home next to a bloody, rolled-up carpet.

Martinez was arrested on December 6 for tampering with evidence. Additional charges of murder, felon in possession of a firearm, and abuse of a dead human body were tacked on a few days after his arrest. 

A pretrial hearing will be held at 10 a.m.