Motions filed in Kelley case suggest dropping highest charge, change of venue

Several motions were filed in the case against Jessica Kelley this week, including a motion by the defense to drop the highest charge she faces.

Drop Count One

Kelley, accused in the death of 10-year-old Victoria Martens back in 2016, says the charge of ‘Child Abuse Resulting in Death’ she faces should be dropped.

Just last month, Kelley was ready and willing to sign a plea deal that meant she could get 49 years in prison. The highest charge, as part of the deal, was child abuse resulting in death.

Now, her lawyer says that charge should be dropped altogether after Judge Charles Brown rejected her attempted plea deal twice.

Kelley’s attorney says the state does not have enough evidence to prove Kelley is a killer of any kind.

The state disagrees, according to court documents. Those documents show prosecutors believe Kelley had a responsibility to protect Victoria, especially knowing of Gonzales’s drug-fueled gang ties.

District Attorney Raul Torrez was not available for an interview Wednesday, but his spokesperson said a formal response to this motion will be filed Oct. 23.

Criminal History

The state wants Jessica Kelley’s criminal history to be used in her trial for the Victoria Martens murder.

The state has filed a motion asking Judge Charles Brown to allow Jessica Kelley’s criminal history and drug use to be used as evidence, including two felony drug convictions and a charge of conspiracy to commit rape. 

The state filed the motion on grounds that a jury has a right to know what type of person is asking them to take her word.

Prosecutors tried to get a plea deal with Kelley approved, but Judge Brown rejected it saying that her story didn’t match the charge.

She claims she let a strange man in who murdered 10-year-old Victoria.

Change of Venue

The defense also filed a motion to change the venue for Kelley’s trial, which is still slated for January 2019 as of now.

Kelley’s attorney argues that due to intense media coverage, Kelley cannot get a fair trial in Bernalillo County. He suggests a venue out of Bernalillo, Sandoval, Valencia and Cibola counties.

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