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Topless maid convicted of killing retired police officer in Inglewood

A topless maid and masseuse was sentenced to 35 years to life in state prison for killing her client, a retired Redondo Beach Police officer, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. 

On Sep. 3, 2015, after about four hours of jury deliberation, Centia Martin, 37, was found guilty of murder in the death of Robert Arthur Crigler, a 74-year-old white man who was pronounced dead Jan 13, 2015, in Inglewood.

About 11 a.m. on Jan. 12, 2015, Crigler’s secretary entered his business and tried to call him several times but could not reach him, prosecutors said. Later that night, she filed a missing-persons report with the Inglewood Police Department, who met her at the business, according to prosecutors. 

Detectives searched the building, where surveillance video showed Crigler entering at 4 p.m. Jan. 10, according to prosecutors. Investigators found a door, which his secretary said she had only opened once in eight years of employment, and searched the rest of the business -- that's where they found a Centia Martin, 37. Crigler had hired Martin as a topless maid and masseuse on Jan. 10, according to subsequent investigation. 

Martin told officers that she did not know Crigler's whereabouts but said she had permission to be in the room, according to evidence presented at trial. Martin later produced a text message from Crigler stating she could be there as well as a key to the building, according to a coroner’s report. Officers finished searching the premises and left the business, prosecutors said.

The next day, detectives returned. Upon entering Crigler’s converted apartment at the back of property, one investigator remarked that he could smell a dead body near an overturned shed, according to a coroner’s report.

After police cleared items, including a scuba vest and a bloody towel, they found Crigler naked inside a bloody blanket, according to evidence presented at trial. The 74-year-old man had cuts all over his face, with a major cut along his neck, prosecutors said. He was pronounced dead at 1:30 p.m., according to coroner’s records. 

Forensic evidence tied Martin to the crime, and on Jan. 28, 2015, she was charged with  murder. 

Contact the Homicide Report. Follow @jeromercampbell and @latimeshomicide on Twitter.

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