A man who had been charged with the brutal murder of a 10-year-old girl now wants to be released on bail until his trial on lesser charges.
Fabian Gonzales is one of three people who were initially charged in the August 2016 murder of Victoria Martens, whose partially dismembered body was found burning in a bathtub at her mother’s Albuquerque apartment. Victoria’s mother Michelle Martens was also charged, along with Gonzalez’s cousin Jessica Kelly.
Michelle Martens reportedly gave a detailed confession to the role she played in the alleged rape, murder and dismemberment of Victoria, the day after her tenth birthday.
But in an extraordinary development, Albuquerque District Attorney Raul Torrez announced in June that evidence in the ongoing investigation contradicted much of the mother’s testimony: Phone and additional data records reportedly showed that Michelle Martens and Fabian Gonzalez were not present at the apartment at the time Victoria was murdered. And DNA evidence collected at the scene indicates that another man was involved in the rape and murder — an unidentified suspect who is still at large.
Prosecutors subsequently reduced murder charges against Gonzalez to a charge of child abuse resulting in death.
KRQE reports that attorneys for Gonzalez filed a motion last week for Gonzalez to be released from jail until his trial. The motion also reportedly alleges that Jessica Kelly tried to kill both Gonzalez and Michelle Martens by hitting them in the head with an iron.
According to earlier reports, the alleged iron attack appears to have been what prompted Michelle Martens to go to her neighbors for help. When police responded to that call they found the little girl’s body in the bathtub.
Gonzalez’s attorneys have reportedly argued that he should not be required to remain in jail until his trial, as his criminal history includes no felonies.
It is not known when a judge is expected to make a decision on the motion.
CrimeOnline will provide updates when more information is available.