Woman gets probation for charge stemming from 2021 Dakota County murder

A fourth person has now been sentenced after a man was found dead in a Dakota County farming culvert nearly three years ago.

Court records show 32-year-old Tomas Leshae Martinez of Minneapolis was sentenced Thursday to three years of supervised probation for her role in the death of 39-year-old Manuel Mandujano in the spring of 2021.

While Judge Tamara Garcia sentenced Martinez to serve 75 days in the Hennepin County workhouse, she received full credit for time served. While on probation, documents show she must go through anger management, complete a gambling assessment and also pay more than $1,876 in fines and fees.

As previously reported by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, Martinez entered a guilty plea in June to one count of interference with a dead body – concealment. She had previously been charged with one count of kidnapping, but a plea deal allowed the charge to be amended.

Martinez was the last of four people to be charged in Mandujano’s death.

A criminal complaint says a phone was found near the culvert Mandujano was found in, which was later determined to belong to Ivan Contreras-Sanchez. He was sentenced in 2022 to spend 40 years in prison. He must serve at least two-thirds of the 40 years in prison and the remainder under supervised release.

Information gathered from the cell phone confirmed that Contreras-Sanchez was with Martinez and her boyfriend, Arturo Morales-Ceras, near the culvert on the day of Mandujano’s death.

Morales-Ceras – was charged with intentional second-degree murder in November 2021, according to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office. As previously reported by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS last April, he was sentenced to serve more than 16 years in prison.

Yet another person, Edgar Daniello Martinez-Montez, was sentenced to more than 25 years in the St. Cloud prison last May. 

Morales-Ceras told police he and Contreras-Sanchez had forced Mandujano into a home from a homeless encampment at gunpoint, assaulted him and hammered a roofing nail into his foot. Morales-Ceras and Contreras-Sanchez were questioning Mandujano about working with the police and “being a snitch,” according to the criminal complaint.

Video footage provided to MPD by Contreras-Sanchez shows Martinez-Montez and the other defendants assaulting Mandujano. Martinez-Montez later admitted to police officers that he had pushed Mandujano’s body out of the car and watched as two others dragged him down to a ditch.

An investigation showed Martinez was involved with the transportation of Mandujano, in addition to neglecting to call for help while he was abused.