Fabian Gonzales’ defense calls witnesses to the stand Thursday
To watch Thursday’s proceedings, here is part one and part two.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The trial of Fabian Gonzales, one of three people arrested after the brutal murder of 10-year-old Victoria Martens in 2016, continued into Day 12 of testimony Thursday.
Gonzales had tested positive for COVID-19. A glass box was set up for Gonzales to use while double-masked and taking precautions – until he waived his right to appear in person Thursday morning.
The judge explained the glass box was too heavy to move, so court staff created a floor-to-ceiling plexiglass enclosure for Gonzales instead. However, they didn’t need it.
Gonzales – who is on a GPS ankle monitor – watched his own trial virtually as the state rested its case and his defense began to call witnesses.
Retired Detective Richard Lewis took the stand briefly Thursday morning. Lewis is the lead investigator who believes he uncovered the truth that an unidentified man killed Victoria.
The state believes that a fourth, unidentified man killed Victoria and left his DNA on her body – but a big question has always been the motive.
One theory is that it was retaliation for a fight between Gonzales and his other cousin, Amanda Padilla, during a welcome-home-from-prison BBQ for Jessica Kelley, who is also a cousin of Gonzales.
Padilla took the stand virtually for the defense Thursday.
Defense: Was there a fight?
Amanda Padilla: Yes, there was.
Defense: Did you get text message threats from Fabian that entire night?
Amanda Padilla: Yes, I did, but I didn’t take him seriously. Fabian has usually been all talk. Like, pretty much, ha. And then he’s my cousin. I honestly knew he was under the influence of narcotics and drunk.
The defense said they plan to call Michelle Martens, Victoria’s mom, to testify Friday.