Oñate protest shooter asks to be released from jail before trial
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The man seen on video shooting an anti-Juan de Oñate protester in Española is now asking to be released from jail before trial.
Ryan Martinez’s defense attorney filed the appeal on Monday, less than a month after a Rio Arriba County judge ruled to keep him behind bars. The reason? They feel the judge didn’t fully consider other conditions of release that they say could keep the community safe until they go to trial.
“Mr. Martinez had a right of appeal to the New Mexico Court of Appeals, and we thought it would be important to raise this appeal,” Martinez’s attorney Nicole Moss said.
Back in October, Martinez sat in front of a judge for the first time. After a full day of testimony from witnesses and responding officers, the First Judicial District Court Judge Jason Lidyard ruled Martinez will be held in jail until trial.
“The court does not agree with the public safety assessment of Mr. Martinez’s fitness to be released. The court finds rather there is clear and convincing evidence that he presents a danger to the community,” Lidyard said back on Oct. 13.
This week, Martinez’s attorney filed an appeal asking for him to be released, saying there are steps that can be taken to ensure community safety.
“The court could order would be things such as a GPS ankle monitor to ensure that he goes where he’s supposed to go, a curfew, he could even be ordered on to house arrest. All things that the court could have considered, and I felt like weren’t given enough consideration during the hearing,” Moss said.
Moss adds Martinez’s parents have also made changes to encourage the judge to release him.
“They had already removed all fire firearms from the home before the hearing, and they were willing to comply with any conditions of release that the court imposed. Pretrial Services were welcome to come out to the home and to search the home to look for anything that they were concerned with,” Moss said.
Back in October, Lidyard spent more than 30 mins after closing arguments explaining his reasoning for not releasing Martinez. While he recognized Martinez didn’t have any past convictions he did have a run-in with the FBI for making threatening comments online, swore at officers and children the day of the shooting, and came to a peaceful protest heavily armed with two handguns and loaded magazines.
“He has been warned by a special agent with the FBI, and been cautioned by the FBI about his threatening behavior and making comments,” Lidyard said. “It’s concerning behavior to say the least and is certainly violent in its nature, and it’s a circumstance that was created by Mr. Martinez.”
This appeal was filed on Monday and the state Court of Appeals has up to two weeks to respond. But just last week, Martinez was also charged with a hate crime.
His attorney is also arguing the shooting was in self-defense. Lidyard has already said he doesn’t fully buy that argument based on the security camera video, but ultimately it will be up to a jury to decide.