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Suspect in Martens death gets 7 years in drug case

One of the suspects in the rape and death of 10-year-old Victoria Martens was sentenced Thursday to seven years in prison in an unrelated drug case.

A probation officer conducting an unscheduled search in September 2015 found several suboxone strips in Jessica Kelley’s purse, according to court documents.

She was convicted of distribution of a controlled substance in January 2017, a charge that carries a possible three-year sentence. Another four years were added to that sentence because of Kelley’s prior convictions.

Second Judicial District Judge Benjamin Chavez said Kelley must serve two years on parole after the completion of her sentence.

Her attorney Mark Earnest questioned whether Kelley was being treated differently in the drug case because of the pending murder case, in which, he emphasized, his client is still presumed innocent. He pointed out that the drug case was not even filed until after the Martens case.

Earnest also said that moving his client from the Metropolitan Detention Center to a Department of Corrections facility based on the new sentence could affect preparations for the Martens trial.

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