Judge’s ruling to release suspect in Victoria Martens case sparks outrage

Crime

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Wednesday, prosecutors made their case as to why Fabian Gonzales, accused of creating a dangerous situation that led to the murder of 10-year-old Victoria Martens, should not be released from jail before his trial.

Per state law, prosecutor Greer Rose needed to present Gonzales’ violent nature, the weight of the evidence against him, and that no conditions of release would keep the community safe.

“He absolutely helped dismember Victoria,” said prosecutor Greer Rose.

Although Gonzales is facing charges of reckless child abuse resulting in death and tampering with evidence for trying to cover up the murder, Judge Brown pointed out he’s no longer charged with murder.

“Many of the outrageous factors have been disproved. We know for a fact the defendant was not here when the child was murdered,” said Judge Brown.

That was a big part of Judge Brown’s decision to release Gonzales from jail, but it hasn’t been sitting well with the community.

KRQE News 13 received close to 1,000 comments on its Facebook page on Wednesday. One woman said she won’t vote for Judge Brown. Another said he made a huge mistake, and that Gonzales is a risk to the public.

In the past, Judge Brown has made similar decisions, letting Justin Hansen go when DNA evidence tied him to the beating of a Cibola High Schooler with a shovel.

“This is a horrible case, I freely admit that, but that’s not why we’re here. The law presumes that until a person is convicted, they don’t belong in jail,” said Judge Brown at Hansen’s detention hearing in 2017.

He said his job is not to try the case in front of him during a pretrial detention hearing, and in Gonzales’ case, he didn’t see the evidence proving he was a danger.

“The question before the court is, does the defendant today, by clear and convincing evidence, present a danger to anyone in the community? And the state has not proven that,” said Judge Brown.

According to the state’s pretrial detention rules, the state does have the opportunity to appeal the judge’s decision. The District Attorney’s Office has confirmed they intend to do so.

Gonzales has yet to be released from jail as the courts try to figure out where he’s going to live.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Now Trending on KRQE.com

Weather

More Video Forecast

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss