Jury selection in Fabian Gonzales trial begins

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Jury selection in the trial of Fabian Gonzales began Monday. He’s one of three suspects arrested following the brutal killing of 10-year-old Victoria Martens at a northwest Albuquerque apartment complex in 2016. 

The other suspects included Victoria’s mother Michelle Martens and Gonzales’ cousin Jessica Kelley. 

While all three were charged with Victoria’s murder, Fabian Gonzales squarely pointed the blame on one suspect – Jessica Kelley. 

But for two years, the story known to the public was one told by the girl’s mother, Michelle. 

She reportedly initially told police that Gonzales and Kelley had drugged, raped and murdered her daughter while she watched. However, that story fell apart in 2018. 

Michelle Martens took a plea deal and prosecutors announced cell phone data proved neither Gonzales nor Martens were with Victoria when she was killed. 

“Indeed, we were forced to consider the possibility that Michelle Martens had falsely incriminated herself and Fabian Gonzales in this heinous act,” said Raúl Torrez, Bernalillo County district attorney. 

So who killed Victoria?

During that bombshell announcement, prosecutors announced they were charging a fourth suspect – an unidentified man. 

Prosecutors said they collected partial male DNA from Victoria’s body, but they have been unable to put a name to that DNA. 

Jessica Kelley was there as Victoria was killed. According to court documents, Kelley claimed she was high on meth and let an unknown man into the apartment. She claimed he killed Victoria in a gang retaliation against Gonzales. 

Kelley was sentenced to 44 years in prison in April. She didn’t speak during that hearing, but she is expected to testify against Gonzales in the upcoming trial 

Michelle Martens is also expected to testify against Gonzales. She’s still waiting on her sentence and is looking at 12 to 15 years. 

As for Gonzales, he is the only one of the three known suspects to go to trial. The most serious charges against him were dropped, but he’s still charged with child abuse and tampering with evidence. 

His trial has been delayed multiple times – most recently because of COVID-19. Jury selection began Monday. Opening statements could happen by the middle of next week.