Man charged in Oñate protest shooting faces hate crime enhancement
ESPAÑOLA, N.M. — After a Juan de Oñate statue protest turned violent in Española, the man at the center of it all is facing new charges. A new hate crime enhancement was just added by the Santa Fe district attorney.
Video shows Ryan Martinez pulling a gun and firing a shot at Jacob Johns at the rally in September. Martinez is charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault.
“It’s tragic that it took a violent turn, it should have remained a peaceful situation,” said John Day, Johns’ attorney.
Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies is adding a hate crime enhancement to the charges.
“Mr. Johns and his family are grateful for the DA and Santa Fe for doing what she’s doing by seeking the hate crime enhancement,” Day said.
Day said Martinez is also facing a firearm enhancement. If Martinez is convicted, these enhancements will add a year to his sentencing.
Day said the victim’s family is still pushing for federal hate crime charges to be filed.
“It’s a separate charge, basically saying that the crime was committed based on hatred or bias,” Day said. “And that’s what we are requesting that the U.S. Department of Justice to consider.”
He says Johns, more than anything, wishes the peaceful gathering hadn’t ended this way.
“Mr. Johns is recovering,” Day said. “He’s back home in Washington state. He still has some very severe injuries he’s recovering from.”
Recently, Rio Arriba County Commissioner Alex Naranjo announced he’s changed his mind about wanting the controversial statue back up. He was pushing for the statue to be reinstated during Hispanic Heritage Month.