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July 25, 2014

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Recovery:

Martinez family settles into work, school routine in North Las Vegas

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Leila Navidi

Arturo Martinez-Sanchez arranges purple and red flowers in a vase attached to the headstone for his wife, Yadira Martinez, and his daughter, Karla Martinez, on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at Woodlawn Cemetery in Las Vegas.

Grace Through Grief

Arturo Martinez-Sanchez takes his sons Cristopher, left, 10, and Alejandro, 5, through a haunted house while trick-or-treating with friends from his old neighborhood in Las Vegas on  Oct. 31, 2012. Launch slideshow »

They seem to be the models of fortitude and resilience, Arturo Martinez-Sanchez and his two young boys, given the unfathomable violence that visited their family two years ago this week at 1016 Robin St.

An intruder entered the home while the family — Arturo and his wife, Yadira, their 10-year-old daughter, Karla, and sons Cristopher, 9, and Alejandro, 4 — was asleep. As was her habit, the mother offered her bedtime blessing: “Goodnight. Sleep with angels.”

It’s unclear why, and in what order, the mayhem unfolded, but in the morning, Cristopher awoke from his back bedroom to find his father with severe head wounds and the bodies of his mother and sister on the floor, in pools of blood. The home was a scene of horrific violence.

Today, Arturo lives in a rental home in North Las Vegas with his new wife, Gisela, whom he married last summer, and his two boys.

In August, Cristopher, now 11, started middle school as a sixth-grader, and Alejandro, 6, entered first grade. Arturo, who underwent brain surgeries to repair his skull, has returned to work as an electrician. He no longer operates his boxing gym, however.

Still on the horizon is the trial for Bryan Clay, now 23, the man authorities allege sexually assaulted and bludgeoned Yadira, 38, and Karla.

A Clark County grand jury in June 2012 indicted Clay on charges of first-degree kidnapping, sexual assault, robbery, burglary while in possession of a deadly weapon, attempted murder with use of a deadly weapon, sexual assault with use of a deadly weapon, two counts of sexual assault with a minor under 14 years of age with use of a deadly weapon, and two counts of murder with use of a deadly weapon. He remains in the Clark County Detention Center.

The trial was supposed to begin in Clark County District Court on Monday, but last month the defense and prosecution asked for more time to prepare their cases. A judge set a new trial date for June 2015.

In Arturo’s mind, it’s essentially a moot issue.

“I don’t worry about it — not at all,” he said last week. “My life is in another stage.”

In fact, Arturo publicly extended forgiveness shortly after the attacks. He cited his faith in God as well as the call to forgive sin and the consolation that he would spend eternity with his wife and daughter in heaven.

“The world is full of evil,” Arturo told a gathering of friends and supporters at his gym in 2012. “This terrible crime is just one of many, many evil things in our world. I choose not to give in to this evil. I choose life and happiness for my sons Cristopher and Alejandro. We choose to turn our heads away from evil and acknowledge the good things in this world. We choose to be strong and move forward.”

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