State files motion to separate murder trials in Victoria Martens’ case

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The State of New Mexico has made a motion to have three separate trials for Michelle Martens, her boyfriend Fabian Gonzales and his cousin Jessica Kelley in the rape and murder of 10-year old Victoria Martens.

According to the state, one of the reasons for this is because statements made by Michelle Martens, Victoria’s mother, could implicate and violate the rights of the other two at trial if they’re not separated.

The state is also saying Gonzales’ statements could have the same effect on the trial. According to court documents, defense attorney’s for Gonzales and Kelley agreed with the motion to sever the trials, but Martens’ attorney, Gary Mitchell did not respond.

If the cases are separated, other issues are expected to come up.

On Tuesday, they’re also expected to discuss what order the defendants will go to trial. The state is requesting for Martens to go first, Gonzales second and Kelley third.

KRQE News 13 spoke with Kelley’s attorney, Mark Earnest, and he said that also brings up the issue of venues for the three trials. Earnest says after the first case is heard it’s likely to generate a lot of media coverage, making it almost necessary to move the other two trials out of Bernalillo County.

As for how the trials would proceed, KRQE News 13 asked Martens’ attorney, Gary Mitchell if he would explore a competency hearing for his client and he said he couldn’t comment on the exact details of how he’s approaching this case, but that any good attorney would explore the plea.

The hearing to decide on the separation of the trials and the order of how they would be tried will take place Tuesday, May 9.

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