Man charged in shooting over Spanish conquistador statue appeals detention order pending trial

Nov 7, 2023, 6:30 PM

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A judge’s order to deny bail is being challenged by a New Mexico man charged with attempted murder in the September shooting of a Native American activist during confrontations about canceled plans to reinstall a statue of a Spanish conquistador, according to court documents obtained Tuesday.

Attorneys for defendant Ryan David Martinez, 23, are urging the New Mexico Court of Appeals to overturn a court order that keeps him jailed pending trial on charges that also include assault with a deadly weapon and potential sentence enhancements on alleged hate-crime and weapons violations.

The man from Sandia Park has pleaded not guilty to all charges in the Sept. 28 shooting at a protest in Española over canceled plans to install a bronze likeness of conquistador Juan de Oñate, who is both revered and reviled for his role in establishing early settlements along the Upper Rio Grande starting in 1598. Chaos erupted at the gathering as a single shot was fired in events recorded by bystanders’ cell phones and a surveillance camera.

Multiple videos show Martinez attempting to rush toward a shrine in opposition to installing the statue on that spot — only for Martinez to be blocked physically by a group of men. Voices can be heard saying, “Let him go,” as Martinez retreats over a short wall, pulls a handgun from his waist and fires one shot.

The appeal of the detention order argues that bail was denied arbitrarily in a decision that stems from “false narratives” and insufficient evidence.

“Even where there is a finding of potential for failure to appear or danger to the community, the defendant is still entitled to release if those issues may be reasonably controlled by conditions of release,” the appeal states.

Defense attorneys Nicole Moss and Ray Marshall described three men in the crowd — including the man who was shot — as the instigators and say Martinez only pulled out a lawfully permitted concealed handgun after being tackled.

“Mr. Martinez will have a strong argument for self-defense to the underlying charge,” the appeal states.

Prosecutors say they expect the pretrial detention order to be upheld.

“We disagree with the defense’s assessment, and so did Judge Jason Lidyard,” said Nathan Lederman, a spokesperson for the Santa Fe-based district attorney’s office.

The Court of Appeals could call on the attorney general’s office to respond.

“Mr. Martinez poses a threat to the community and if released no conditions of release would reasonably protect the community,” said agency spokesperson Lauren Rodriguez.

Lidyard authorized a trial and denied bail for Martinez after nearly five hours of court testimony and a review of video evidence. He ruled that Martinez should have known he was provoking a crowd with contrary views about the conquistador statue after arriving with loaded, concealed weapons on his waist and in his car.

Lidyard overruled a public safety assessment for Martinez that recommended pretrial release for a defendant with no prior criminal convictions or failures to appear in court. He highlighted aggressive conduct by Martinez, including expletives directed at a sheriff’s deputy and bystanders at the demonstration and past violent threats in social media posts against the U.S. Federal Reserve. Lidyard also highlighted testimony that Martinez appeared to be converting semi-automatic guns at home into automatic weapons.

The shooting severely wounded Jacob Johns, of Spokane, Washington, a well-traveled activist for environmental causes and an advocate for Native American rights who is of Hopi and Akimel O’odham tribal descent.

An attorney for Johns expressed confidence in the judge’s detention ruling.

“The reality is everyone has seen the video where Martinez is aggressive and violent and pulls a gun on unarmed people,” attorney John Day said. “Judge Lidyard was very careful and methodical when he made his ruling.”

United States News

A vendor selling Street Sense, a local paper that covers issues related to the homeless and employs...

Associated Press

Technology built the cashless society. Advances are helping the unhoused so they’re not left behind

WASHINGTON (AP) — John Littlejohn remembers the days when lots of people had a couple of dollars to spare to buy a copy of Street Sense, the local paper that covers issues related to the homeless and employs unhoused individuals as its vendors. Today, he’s finding fewer people are walking around with spare change. Even […]

2 hours ago

Smoke rises from the Gaza Strip after Israeli strikes on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Leo Corr...

Associated Press

Israel presses on with Gaza bombardments, including in areas where it told civilians to flee

RAFAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israeli warplanes struck parts of the Gaza Strip overnight into Saturday in relentless bombardments, including some of the dwindling slivers of land Palestinians had been told to evacuate to in the territory’s south. The latest strikes came a day after the United States vetoed a United Nations resolution demanding an […]

7 hours ago

FILE - A marquee promoting a fundraiser with President Joe Biden is on display outside the Lunt-Fon...

Associated Press

Big money, fancy homes, old jokes — inside Joe Biden’s fundraisers

LOS ANGELES (AP) — If you’re a Democrat with money to burn and friends in high places, you can spend thousands on tickets to a fundraiser with President Joe Biden. If not, keep reading to see what you’re missing. With an election year around the corner, Biden is accelerating his fundraising to prepare for an […]

10 hours ago

FILE - Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., speaks to media about Israel, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023, on Cap...

Associated Press

New US aid for Ukraine by year-end seems increasingly of out reach as GOP ties it to border security

WASHINGTON (AP) — A deal to provide further U.S. assistance to Ukraine by year-end appears to be increasingly out of reach for President Joe Biden. The impasse is deepening in Congress despite dire warnings from the White House about the consequences of inaction as Republicans insist on pairing the aid with changes to America’s immigration […]

10 hours ago

FILE - Republican presidential candidates from left, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, Florida Gov....

Associated Press

DeSantis, Haley and Ramaswamy will appear in northwest Iowa days after a combative GOP debate

SIOUX CENTER, Iowa (AP) — Republican presidential candidates will cross paths again in Iowa just days after a fractious debate and as the countdown to the caucuses nears the one-month mark. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy will make their case — this time without the others […]

11 hours ago

FILE - Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump speaks to Texas state tr...

Associated Press

Appeals court upholds gag order on Trump in Washington case but narrows restrictions on his speech

A federal appeals court in Washington on Friday largely upheld a gag order on former President Donald Trump in his 2020 election interference case but narrowed the restrictions on his speech.

14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Follow @iamdamonallred...

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 


Dierdre Woodruff

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Follow @KTAR923...

The 2023 Diamondbacks are a good example to count on the underdog

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the World Series as a surprise. That they made the playoffs at all, got past the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Wild Card round, swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS and won two road games in Philadelphia to close out a full seven-game NLCS went against every expectation. Now, […]

Man charged in shooting over Spanish conquistador statue appeals detention order pending trial