Victoria Martens, the 10-year-old girl whose sickening rape and murder horrified New Mexico last week, may never have been subjected to her unthinkable suffering and could even be alive today — if not for a red-tape mistake that caused a convicted violent offender to be set free in Albuquerque with no supervision, even though his sentence called for “supervised probation.”
The new claims come via a report by KRQE TV in Albuquerque, whose investigation uncovered how 32-year-old Fabian Gonzales, one of three suspects in the grisly murder of Victoria Martens, “slipped through the cracks” of the New Mexico correctional system after his 2015 conviction on battery and child abuse charges.
This is Fabien Gonzales tonight as police took him to MDC. He is the boyfriend of Michelle Martens. pic.twitter.com/1FRu4JB7lL
— Chris McKee (@ChrisMcKeeTV) August 25, 2016
Gonzales is one of three suspects in the sexual assault, slaying and dismemberment of Victoria Martens. The girl’s own mother, 35-year-old Michelle Martens, also stands accused in the unspeakable crime. Gonzales’s cousin Jessica Kelley, 31, is the third suspect charged, according to a KOAT News report.
“This homicide is the most gruesome act of evil I have ever seen in my career,” Albuquerque Police Chief Gorden Eden Jr. said after the arrests were made on Wednesday. “A complete disregard of human life and betrayal by a mother.”
Michelle Martens told police that she met Gonzales online only a month earlier. Wednesday, the same day that Gonzales and Kelley, according the charges, drugged, raped and strangled the little girl while her mother looked on, was Victoria Martens’ 10th birthday.
— Kirsten Swanson (@KirstenKOAT) August 25, 2016
“I can’t speak to what this mother was planning for her child other than the horrific events that happened to this child. I would find it hard to believe that she was planning a birthday party for this child,” Tanner Tixier of the Albuquerque Police told KOAT.
The following video news report by KRQE details the red-tape screw-up that may have led to the terrible murder of Victoria Martens.
Gonzales has denied any responsibility for Victoria’s death, blaming the horror entirely on Kelley. But in 2014, Gonzales — whose criminal rap sheet in New Mexico extends back to 2004 — was busted after witnesses saw him punching his then-girlfriend as she drove a car with their child in the back seat.
Gonzales pleaded guilty to the battery and child abuse charges and was given a two-year sentence. But that sentence was suspended on the condition that Gonzales be placed on supervised probation — meaning that the New Mexico Department of Corrections was supposed to assign officers to keep a close watch over Gonzales.
There was only one problem. No one told the Department of Corrections.
“We were not aware of this plea agreement until this morning it came to our attention, we never received the documentation to say that he had entered into this agreement,” the department’s Deputy Secretary of Administration Alex Sanchez told KRQE.
As a result, Gonzales essentially paid no penalty whatsoever for his assault on his former girlfriend — and was free to do whatever he wanted to do.
Police now say that on Wednesday, what he did was inject Victoria Martens with the powerful drug methamphetamine to disable her, and then proceeded to sexually penetrate the 10-year-old girl while the girl’s mother watched.
— Claudia Tristán (@tristan_claudia) August 25, 2016
Jessica Kelley, who also has a lengthy criminal history and who had previously been convicted of taking part in the rape of another woman, is also charged with criminal sexual penetration of a minor as well as, along with Gonzales, child abuse resulting in death, kidnapping and tampering with evidence. The latter charge stemming from their dismemberment and attempted burning of Victoria’s body after they finished off their depraved assault on the little girl by stabbing and strangling her, according to the police accounts.
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Michelle Martens faces the same counts, with the exception of the sexual penetration charges, in the killing of her 10-year-old daughter Victoria.
[Photos via Albuquerque Police Department, Facebook]