Sentence handed down for slaying of New Mexico girl

Oct 27, 2022, 11:12 AM | Updated: 4:05 pm
FILE - A photo of Victoria Martens, a 10-year-old Albuquerque girl who was brutally murdered, is pl...

FILE - A photo of Victoria Martens, a 10-year-old Albuquerque girl who was brutally murdered, is placed in a memorial outside her apartment in Albuquerque, N.M., on Aug. 29, 2016. A man convicted of child abuse and other charges stemming from the 2016 death and dismemberment of Martens has been sentenced to 37 1/2 years in prison. The punishment for Fabian Gonzales was handed down Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022, by a state district judge. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras, File)

(AP Photo/Russell Contreras, File)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A man convicted of child abuse and other charges stemming from the 2016 death and dismemberment of an Albuquerque girl was sentenced to 37 1/2 years in prison Thursday.

Prosecutors had sought a maximum sentence of 40 years for Fabian Gonzales. State District Judge Cindy Leos combined two of the tampering with evidence counts that related to the removal of the victim’s body parts, thus resulting in a slightly shorter prison term.

During trial earlier this year, prosecutors said that although Gonzales didn’t kill Victoria Martens, he set in motion events that created a dangerous environment that led to the girl’s death.

Martens’ death — on her 10th birthday — sent shockwaves through the community.

The girl’s mother, Michelle Martens, will be sentenced for her role in the coming weeks. Gonzales was dating the woman and had moved into the apartment where she was living with her daughter.

According to investigators, Gonzales had allowed his cousin, Jessica Kelley, to stay at the apartment shortly after Kelley was released from prison. Investigators determined that Martens and Gonzales were not at the home when Victoria was killed but that Kelley was there.

Prosecutors said Victoria was killed either by an unknown man or by Kelley, who was using methamphetamine and acting paranoid that day. Gonzales’ attorneys had argued that Kelley killed the girl and then tried to cover it up.

The case remains open and authorities are looking for an unidentified man based on DNA evidence that was found.

Kelley, who earlier pleaded guilty to child abuse and other charges, was sentenced to 44 years in prison and will be eligible for parole in half that time. Michelle Martens pleaded guilty to a child abuse charge in an agreement that calls for her to be sentenced to 12 to 15 years in prison. Her sentencing has been postponed to Nov. 10.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Bonds, Clemens left out of Hall again; McGriff elected

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling were passed over by a Baseball Hall of Fame committee that elected former big league slugger Fred McGriff to Cooperstown on Sunday. It was the first time that Bonds, Clemens and Schilling had faced a Hall committee since their 10th and final appearances on […]
19 hours ago
FILE - Capital murder defendant and former U.S. Border Patrol Juan David Ortiz looks around the cou...
Associated Press

Jurors hear ex-Border Patrol agent’s confession in killings

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Jurors in the capital murder trial of a former U.S. Border Patrol agent have heard a taped interview in which he confesses to the 2018 killings of four sex workers in South Texas. If convicted of capital murder, Juan David Ortiz, 39, faces life in prison without parole because prosecutors are […]
19 hours ago
FILE - A Twitter logo hangs outside the company's San Francisco offices on Nov. 1, 2022. A top Euro...
Associated Press

As Musk is learning, content moderation is a messy job

Now that he’s back on Twitter, neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin wants somebody to explain the rules. Anglin, the founder of an infamous neo-Nazi website, was reinstated Thursday, one of many previously banned users to benefit from an amnesty granted by Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk. The next day, Musk banished Ye, the rapper formerly known as […]
19 hours ago
FILE - In this photo taken by an individual not employed by the Associated Press and obtained by th...
Associated Press

Iran morality police status unclear after ‘closure’ comment

CAIRO (AP) — An Iranian lawmaker said Sunday that Iran’s government is “paying attention to the people’s real demands,” state media reported, a day after a top official suggested that the country’s morality police whose conduct helped trigger months of protests has been shut down. The role of the morality police, which enforces veiling laws, […]
19 hours ago
Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at the J Street National Conference at the Omni Shoreham H...
Associated Press

Blinken vows US support for Israel despite unease over gov’t

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday the U.S. will not shrink from its unwavering support for Israel despite stark differences with Prime Minister-elect Benjamin Netanyahu and concerns the Biden administration may have about potential members of his incoming right-wing government. Speaking to a left-leaning group that some on the right accuse […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Farmer: Georgia dog injured saving sheep from coyote attack

DECATUR, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia sheepdog is recovering at home two days after killing a pack of coyotes that attacked his owner’s flock of sheep, farmer John Wierwiller said. Casper, a 20-month old Great Pyrenees from Decatur, fought off a pack of coyotes who were threatening Wierwiller’s sheep farm, he said. The fight lasted […]
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
Sentence handed down for slaying of New Mexico girl