This morning Bernalillo County District Attorney Raul Torrez is going to appear in Judge Charles Brown courtroom and either present a new plea deal for accused murderer Jessica Kelley or petition Brown to reconsider his denial of the last plea deal.
I would like to ask DA Torrez to cancel this meeting with Judge Brown and allow me to tell him over breakfast, why he should not be making any deals with the three defendants in the Victoria Martens murder case. Here is what I would tell him.
The problems with the Victoria Martens murder case are monumental, but just because mistakes have been made by Albuquerque Police Homicide detectives and by the District Attorney office, doesn’t mean you cut a sweetheart deals with those who stand accused. The better course of action is to admit to mistakes and go to court and prosecute the charges you believe you can prove. Making deals with any of these three defendants is akin to dealing with the devil. And we all know how that turns out.
There are facts in this murder case that we know to be true. These facts are a road map, with all roads leading to Jessica Kelley as the murderer.
The facts were spelled out by Torrez during his June press conference.
That ten-year-old Victoria Martens was brutally murdered, sexually assaulted, and her body dismembered.
That Fabian Gonzales and Michelle Martens (mother) were not present during the murder, but they did show up afterward and were arrested at the scene.
That Jessica Kelley was present during the murder and arrested at the scene.
That when Fabian Gonzales was arrested he shouted that Jessica Kelley murdered Victoria.
That Jessica Kelley, by her own admission, in court, admitted that she was high on meth, marijuana, pills and booze and had been hallucinating for days.
That Jessica Kelley has a criminal history that involves a conviction for violent sexual assault upon another woman.
That partial male DNA has been found on Victoria Martens body and the DA has received a grand jury indictment against this DNA.
That Torrez gave Michelle Martens a plea deal (12 to 15 years) where she pleaded guilty to Child Abuse Resulting in Death, but Torrez specifically noted in the deal that this would be a “non-violent” offense. Thereby allowing Michelle Martens to cut her prison sentence in half with good time. (6 to 7.5 years with two years already served).
That APD and the DA believed and possibly fed Michelle Martens her confession. The confession that Torrez now admits was nothing but a lie.
That Torrez, through his plea deal with Michelle Martens, expects her to now testify “truthfully” regarding Fabian Gonzales and Jessica Kelley.
That Torrez impeached Michelle Martens during his June press conference by admitting that Michelle Martens is a drug addict idiot who will lie to authority figures.
That there is no evidence that the mystery man (or men) committed any crime against Victoria Martens. Just because DNA is found doesn’t mean it was semen (sources have stated the DNA found on Victoria is from skin, not semen). If these sources are correct, there is a possibility that the DNA was “touch transferred”. Because the human body sheds skin cells daily (millions) you can pick up other people’s cells on your body simply by touching what they touched, or your clothes coming into contact with their clothes. DNA is not a perfect science.
That science is unable to tell us specifically when DNA ended up on a surface or a body. The DNA found on Victoria might have been placed there the night of the murder, but it also might have been placed there a week earlier or anytime in between. Michelle Martens is an admitted drug abuser, so she probably didn’t care for Victoria’s hygiene the way other mothers would.
That Jessica Kelley only began telling the DA and police about a “mystery man” once it was discovered that Victoria’s body had some partial male DNA on it.
Jessica Kelley alleges that the “well dressed” mystery man who she says murdered Victoria, then threatened to kill Kelley and her children. Anyone with basic law enforcement experience would ask this question, “Why would a murderer leave a witness? Why didn’t he kill Kelley, the only person who could identify him? I will tell you why, because he doesn’t exist. He is a hallucination of Jessica Kelley to divert attention from the fact that she was the only person present when Victoria was raped and murdered. Torrez and his staff should recognize lies when they hear them.
That DA Torrez now wants to cut Jessica Kelley a plea deal, so she will have to testify about the “mystery men”. But remember, Jessica Kelley admitted she was hallucinating and high on drugs and alcohol for three days. Who would believe her?
That Judge Brown refused to allow the plea deal.
These are not all the facts, but they are the important ones when determining if giving plea bargains for Michelle Martens and Jessica Kelley future testimony are worth it. They are not!
Michelle Martens and Jessica Kelley are drug addict liars. DA Torrez believes that their testimony is crucial for the prosecution of Fabian Gonzales and the “mystery men”, that’s insane.
Would you believe Michelle Martens after Torrez destroyed her credibility at his press conference? Would you believe Jessica Kelley, after she admitted in court that she was hallucinating at the time of the murder? You cannot believe anything Kelley and Michelle would say. They are both admitted liars, drug users and criminals.
So why is DA Torrez making these deals?
I get it, APD and the DA office made some big mistakes with this case, but that didn’t mean they couldn’t have gotten a conviction on Michelle Martens for Child Abuse Resulting in Death (and not agreed to making it a non-violent felony so she could get good time). Michelle Martens left her daughter with a known violent sex offender! That is a fact. Torrez should have prosecuted her and not made a deal for an idiot / liar’s testimony.
Jessica Kelley has a criminal history that involves violent sexual assault on other women! She was present at the time of the murder. In a spontaneous statement Fabian Gonzales stated Jessica Kelley murdered Victoria! Gonzales made this comment without the promise of a plea deal. This makes his statement a free expression, not done with any expectation of getting a deal from Torrez. Yet Torrez believes Kelley instead?
What about the mystery men? I already explained that this DNA does not prove guilt of a murder. So let’s say that Torrez is able, someday, to identify the man (or men) whose DNA was found on Victoria, he should deal with that issue then. If the DNA is ever identified, APD and the DA will have to do a lot of investigation to determine if it was just transferred DNA or if the DNA truly points to a crime. Deal with that when and if it happens.
I will tell you beyond a doubt, that if Torrez were to show Kelley pictures of men and tell her the DNA matches, he hallucination memory would confirm whatever Torrez wants her to confirm. In short, Kelley will lie, and the DA should know this.
Torrez should prosecute Michelle, Jessica and Fabian on the charges that he knows he can prove and stop trying to make outlandish deals based upon false promises of violent ex-cons, drug addicts and liars.
Torres should revoke (if possible) the plea deal with Michelle Martens and prosecute her for Child Abuse Resulting in Death, with no good time upon conviction.
Torrez should prosecute Fabian Gonzales for Tampering with Evidence. If Torres truly believes he can prove Child Abuse Resulting in Death, then go for it, but don’t make a deal with Kelley and Michelle for their testimony. The only thing you can confirm with Kelley and Martens is that they both are liars.
Torrez should prosecute Jessica Kelley for 1st Degree Murder. No deals. She was caught at the scene. Fabian spontaneously stated Jessica was the murderer. Torrez has enough to put Kelley in prison forever. That would make this community safer.
Torrez should deal with the mystery men when and if they are identified. They might be guilty of a crime or they might be innocent men whose dna transferred. Deal with it at that time. You don’t need Jessica Kelley’s lies.
Torrez should not be shy about going into court and telling a jury that APD and the DA office has made mistakes. Own them. Maybe the light of day in a courtroom will make the DA Office and APD better in the future. I know many at APD and the DA office don’t believe that they could have done better. The best way to remedy this is to allow the defense attorneys to point it out in open court. Sometimes public embarrassment is the only way to get people to change.
Or Torrez can double down and make deals with the devils that caused Victoria’s death. A mistake so huge that I would hope voters would never forget.
Whether or not Victoria gets justice hinges upon decisions that Raul Torrez is making regarding cutting deals with those who should have protected her and the one who raped and murdered her. It’s time to do right by Victoria, prosecute these three offenders and offer no plea deals based upon false promises of future testimony.
Torrez would do well to focus on the facts that he knows and not make deals with the devils on the false hope of future testimony. Victoria was abused in life, by making deals with these animals Torrez is victimizing her in death.