Suspect in 2021 murder sentenced to 30 years in prison

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – On Wednesday, a New Mexico family’s two-year wait for justice finally came to an end.

A judge sentenced 19-year-old Abram Martinez to 30 years in prison for shooting and killing 19-year-old Isaiah Herrera. Martinez will only serve half that time. 

The case started in Nambe on Feb 4. 2021.

Martinez conspired with two other teens to rob Herrera during a marijuana deal. But Martinez shot and killed Herrera, then left his body on the side of a road. No arrests were made in this case until five months later.

Martinez was only 17 at the time of the shooting and never admitted to pulling the trigger, but he did plead guilty to first-degree felony murder Tuesday as part of plea deal in order for a fixed sentence.

“The court imposes a sentence of 15 years, suspends 15 years to be served with five years of supervised probation, concurrent with a two-year period of mandatory parole,” said the judge. 

Before the judge made his decision, he heard from the state prosecutor, defense, and Herrera’s family.

“I am praying today brings justice for Isaiah Herrera and some form of a healing process for the family,” said Cecilia Herrera, Isaiah’s grandmother. 

“As we’re here today to discuss the sentencing of the defendant, I would like to take into consideration the fact that we’re given a life sentence without Isaiah. I do ask that any time given to the defendant will be a time to reflect on how he can better his life for his family. Understand that our lives were forever ruined by his and his codefendants actions,” said Claudette Romero, Isaiah’s aunt. 

The state told the judge they would be fine with the agreed upon sentence of 15 years.

“We’re hoping that the defendant will take the time and do something different with his life when he gets out,” said the prosecutor. 

Martinez’s lawyer maintained that his client did not kill Herrera, and asked the judge to consider parole after two years instead of five.

“While Mr. Martinez certainly knew and could foresee what would happen in the robbery, and that’s the law of felony murder, he had no intention that night of taking Mr. Herrera’s life,” said the defense attorney.  

“I wanted to make an apology out to the victim’s family. Again, it wasn’t my intent for that to happen, and I am accepting full responsibility for my actions,” said Martinez. 

Martinez was taken into custody by the Sante Fe County Sheriff’s Office and will be taken to the Central Correctional Facility in Los Lunas to begin serving his 15 years.