4 Investigates: Vehicular homicide charges refiled as statute of limitations looms
GALLUP, N.M. — Six years after a car crash swept Raven Livingston out of her mother’s life, she might have some hope. The district attorney’s office in Gallup has refiled vehicular homicide charges just two weeks before the statute of limitations expired.
4 Investigates took a look at the languishing case in July.
On Dec. 30, 2017, Raven and three friends went to the movies. It was around 10 p.m. – long past dark. As they came to the intersection, waiting on a yellow light, Raven was in the front passenger seat of a Jeep SUV as it turned.
According to the accident report, speeding toward them was Timothy Martine Jr. in a Nissan SUV that reached 93 miles an hour just seconds before it slammed into the Jeep… sending it rolling and trapping Raven inside. Rescue crews got her out, but she died at the hospital.
In early 2022, District Attorney Bernadine Martin’s office took the case to a judge to see if it was ready for trial. He tossed it out, noting several police officers didn’t show and the state failed to prove Martine was even speeding.
The case has been on pause since then – no answers for Jeulina, Raven’s mother, and little communication from the district attorney.
Martin refuses to talk about her choices. She emailed a swift “No comment” Friday about her decision to refile.
But a Legislative Finance Committee meeting last month forced her to talk about the case. She complained about evidence in Raven’s case before a frustrated chairman and Gallup state Sen. George Muñoz.
Muñoz: “Those cases have to get prosecuted in McKinley County. And you’re the head prosecutor and we’re relying on you and the weight is on your shoulders…”
Muñoz: “…and that’s your elected responsibility.”
Martin: “In the case you talk about, it was an evidence problem. It was an evidence issue from the start. So I can’t make up evidence. It has to have already been there when the case occurred, when the incident… (hand drops to table)”
Muñoz was diplomatic.
“I’m here to help, but when you have $800,000 in reversions and you don’t have attorneys, that tells me the lights are on and there’s nobody in the offices working,” Muñoz said.
Muñoz is already drafting legislation to let the district attorney in Farmington oversee the Gallup office, forcing Martin to answer to someone.
“At this point, I can’t tell anyone to say we have a first class DA’s office, we have the worst DA’s office,” Muñoz said.
Jeulina, Raven’s mother, is somewhat relieved.
“Is the attorney going to forget about it? That’s what I always think,” Jeulina said. “But I’m glad it pulled though and we’ll have something.”
Just what – she’s not sure. She knows little of the evidence, and hearing from the district attorney’s office seems unlikely even now.
“She hasn’t called me or anything stating that she refiled,” Jeulina said.