Fabian Gonzales released from MDC pending trial - Albuquerque Journal

Fabian Gonzales released from MDC pending trial

Fabian Gonzales in District Court in September 2018. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)

Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal

Fabian Gonzales is out of jail.

His release Tuesday afternoon comes nearly two weeks after a judge made the controversial decision to deny the state’s request to keep Gonzales behind bars as his case makes its way through the justice system. Prior to the judge’s ruling, Gonzales had been in the county jail since August 2016 on a $1 million cash-only bond.

Gonzales is accused of helping his cousin dismember the body of 10-year-old Victoria Martens after she was reportedly killed by an unidentified man who was looking for Gonzales. Shortly after his arrest, Gonzales had been accused of drugging, raping and killing Victoria, but the state later revised its theory of the case, and as a result dropped rape and murder charges against Gonzales.

In his order, Judge Charles Brown wrote that the serious nature of the allegations in the case “are not to be disregarded or minimized.”

“However, since the state’s initial filing in this case, the theory regarding what occurred has evolved significantly, including the extent and role of defendant’s involvement,” he wrote.

The decisions sparked social media fury and a protest in front of the courthouse calling for Brown’s removal from the bench. Some attendees worried that Gonzales might hurt children, while others wondered whether Gonzales himself might become a target.

Meanwhile, the District Attorney’s Office on Tuesday filed a 40-page appeal, saying Brown’s decision “reflects a misunderstanding of the law” and “erroneously minimizes the charges against defendant.” They are asking the Court of Appeals to reverse the ruling.

Stephen Aarons, Gonzales’ attorney, said in an email that his client was ready for trial more than a year ago when the prosecution filed an appeal that has put the case on hold indefinitely.

“Now they appeal again,” he wrote. “They are violating Fabian’s constitutional right to a speedy trial.”

Brown said in court that Gonzales would be released to the court’s pretrial services division, which was tasked with finding an appropriate place for him to live. It was not immediately clear Tuesday where Gonzales would live as he continues to await trial on one count of child abuse resulting in death and multiple counts of tampering with evidence.

Brown noted that Gonzales has never been convicted of a felony and has only limited misdemeanor convictions, and although he has a history of failing to comply with court conditions, Brown found that did “not demonstrate his dangerousness to the community.”

In their appeal, prosecutors outlined seven factors that they believe show Gonzales “poses a clear threat to the safety of the community.” They also say Brown found Gonzales was not a threat because his record consists only of misdemeanor convictions and because his most egregious charges had been dismissed. That decision, they argue, effectively creates a rule requiring prior felony convictions or murder or rape charges in order to classify a defendant as a danger.

Home » ABQnews Seeker » Fabian Gonzales released from MDC pending trial


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Santa Fe, Carson National Forests closing to public
ABQnews Seeker
The Santa Fe and Carson National ... The Santa Fe and Carson National Forests will implement forest-wide closures this week, as the largest wildfire in state history continues to grow across ...
2
Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak blaze surpasses 2012's Whitewater-Baldy
ABQnews Seeker
Northern NM fire has burned at ... Northern NM fire has burned at least 262 homes
3
Council-approved budget would up spending by 20%
ABQnews Seeker
Plan includes pay increase for city ... Plan includes pay increase for city workers, rental support
4
'Not intimidated,' Block pitches himself as a fighter for ...
2022 election
GOP hopeful brings combative edge to ... GOP hopeful brings combative edge to governor's race
5
Defendant says he shot JB White 'to stop him'
ABQnews Seeker
Montoya takes stand, says SF basketball ... Montoya takes stand, says SF basketball star chased him, was about to 'throw a power punch'
6
States struggle to replace fossil fuel tax revenue
ABQnews Seeker
Budgets flush with petroleum cash put ... Budgets flush with petroleum cash put spotlight on how difficult it is to turn rhetoric on tackling climate change into reality
7
As wildfires rage, state says unemployment assistance is available
ABQnews Seeker
Assistance is available for weeks of ... Assistance is available for weeks of unemployment beginning April 10 through Nov. 5
8
Suspect dies over weekend in county jail
ABQnews Seeker
Woman was accused of stabbing boyfriend ... Woman was accused of stabbing boyfriend to death
9
Governor appoints former U.S. Navy officer to state Cabinet ...
ABQnews Seeker
Dye appointed to run state agency ... Dye appointed to run state agency tasked with natural disaster response
10
Fifth suspect arrested in 2021 fatal shooting at West ...
ABQnews Seeker
Ajole Guzman, 20, arrested at a ... Ajole Guzman, 20, arrested at a family member's home in ABQ on Monday