Updated: November 06, 2019 10:10 PM
Created: November 06, 2019 08:55 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Many New Mexicans are outraged after learning a judge ruled that a Fabian Gonzales could get out of jail as he awaits trial.
Gonzales is charged with tampering with evidence and child abuse in the death of 10-year-old Victoria Martens.
It has been more than three years since the unspeakable crime. Neither Gonzales, nor Michelle Martens or Jessica Kelley are charged with her murder.
The main suspect is John Doe, an unknown man who is linked to the crime by DNA. There are doubts in the community whether he'll ever be found.
Ahmad Assed, a criminal defense attorney, said he was not surprised by the judge's ruling Wednesday.
“It’s a horrible case. It’s an awful case,” said Ahmad Assed, a local criminal defense attorney. “It’s a case I’m sure every New Mexican or American never wants to hear any other girl get dealt with abused, and mutilated in the way Victoria did but we can’t run on emotion. The court has to run on law and facts. At the end of the day it isn’t a surprise.”
Assed said there have been monumental changes since the initial arrest of Fabian Gonzales in 2016. That includes the fact that the district attorney announced neither Gonzales nor Victoria's mother, Michelle, were home when she was murdered.
Prosecutors believe Fabian helped dispose of Victoria's body.
He's also part of the story Jessica Kelley is telling.
“I don’t believe Jessica to be credible,” said Assed. “I think there are motives all over the place.”
Early this year, Jessica Kelley took a plea deal. She pleaded no contest to six charges. She also agreed to cooperate in the case against Gonzales. She claims Martens was killed in an act of gang retaliation against Gonzales. She also alleges that Gonzales helped dispose of Victoria's body.
Whatever happened that day, Assed thinks prosecutors have a tough fight ahead of them even getting a conviction.
“He could be completely acquitted and that’s a scenario the community needs to understand,” said Assed. “This is a tough case for the prosecution.”
Assed believes that's no fault of the judge, but from the mess the case has been since the beginning. Gonzales is expected to be released from jail without an ankle monitor. Assed says that could be a good thing if he does get convicted.
“He's not getting credit,” said Assed. “When someone is on an ankle bracelet and house arrest they are actually getting day for day time as credit for the sentence.”
Assed said he predicts there could be even more problems with this case before it’s over.
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