DA’s office asks legislature for $600K to try suspects in Victoria Martens case

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Victoria Martens murder case could be the most expensive case to try in Albuquerque history.

KRQE News 13 learned the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s office is asking the legislature for $600,000 to take the three suspects to trial.

In July, the first suspect in the Victoria Martens case will go to trial and that suspect is Victoria’s mother, Michelle. Her boyfriend, Fabian Gonzales will follow in October. The last suspect, Jessica Kelley, is expected to face a jury in January 2019.

Those three trials combined won’t come cheap.

“We’ve had to reach out-of-state to find DNA experts and others,” DA Raúl Torrez said. “We’ve also had a lot of additional investigative work.”

Torrez said when he took office, he also reassigned new prosecutors to the case and even pulled some of the Albuquerque Police Department’s cold-case detectives over to work the case.

“They’ve been working around the clock to get ready for and deal with the complex issues that are arising in this case,” he said.

By contrast, when two Albuquerque Police officers went on trial for the killing of homeless camper James Boyd, that cost a little more than $200,000 and it ended in a hung jury.

The cost to try the Martens case will easily surpass that and Torrez hopes the verdicts will reflect the focus and energy they’ve put into it.

“We’re sparing no expense and putting everything we have into it,” he said.

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