ESPAÑOLA, N.M. (KRQE) – More information about the deadly Blakes Lotaburger robbery in Española has been revealed. A federal search warrant stated the man charged with the murder, Ricky Martinez, had help.
Two women are now being accused of acting as his getaway drivers, not only in the murder but in another robbery days before. Now, investigating agencies are trying to figure out how to charge the women.
“Ricky Martinez is a suspect we identified after several burglaries in the City of Española,” said Española Chief of Police Mizel Garcia. Investigators are now saying Martinez didn’t do it all alone, “We were able to identify people who were involved up to certain levels with him.”
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Martinez is charged with gunning down Cypress Garcia at the Blakes Lotaburger in Española, during a robbery. A federal search warrant said Martinez shot Garcia in the chest, pistol whipped another employee, and then tried taking off with the cash register. That attempt was unsuccessful, but Martinez is accused of committing eight more robberies in Española, Santa Fe, and Taos, before the August 16 murder.
“What we observed is that during each of these armed robberies, his behavior and level of violence had been escalating,” Chief Garcia explained. Martinez is accused of robbing the Family Dollar the night before the murder, allegedly firing off a couple of rounds before stealing $15 and a pack of lighters.
The warrant said his girlfriend, 29-year-old Chelsea Fernandez, was his getaway driver. Text messages between the two show Fernandez knew about the robberies and arranged times to pick him up.
Another woman, who is not being named, is accused of helping him leave the scene of the murder. It is alleged she drove him all the way to Santa Fe where they stayed overnight. Police eventually picked him up in Santa Fe.
Fernandez told authorities Martinez sent her text messages, saying he shot Garcia three times. Right now, Fernandez is only being charged for helping Martinez in the Family Dollar case, but more charges could be coming.
Law enforcement agencies, along with the District Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, are discussing the best course of action in charging the two women who helped Martinez. Right now, they’re trying to determine if they’ll be charged at the state level or federally.
The FBI has filed three search warrants in the case. They are for Martinez’s DNA to match it to the gun found at the scene, for the home where he was hiding in Santa Fe, and for his phone.