Editorial: Creative solution keeps high-profile trial on track - Albuquerque Journal

Editorial: Creative solution keeps high-profile trial on track

Given all the challenges surrounding the trial of Fabian Gonzales, the court did the right thing in trying to find a way to press forward.

Gonzales, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday and has symptoms and a fever, declined to waive his right to appear in person on charges stemming from the gruesome death and dismemberment of 10-year-old Victoria Martens in August 2016.

Judge Cindy Leos, who is presiding over the case, considered suspending the proceedings for a week, keeping jurors beyond their scheduled duty. But she also asked and received approval Wednesday from the state Supreme Court to allow Gonzales to attend by sitting in a glass enclosure that will be placed in the courtroom. “I don’t want to declare a mistrial at this point,” she said. The trial, which began July 13, resumed Thursday with Gonzales participating remotely because he was still feeling ill. But the option remains for him to be able to attend by sitting in the enclosure.

Throughout the trial, officers have testified the case marked one of the most extensive and winding investigations in Albuquerque police history. Nearly six years after Victoria’s death, seeing this trial to a final resolution serves everyone’s interest — the defendant, victim and the public.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.

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