Copyright © 2016 Albuquerque Journal
The scene Wednesday morning in apartment number 808 of the Arroyo Villas complex was like something out of a horror movie. A man and a woman had allegedly drugged a little girl, then raped, killed and dismembered her.
Most would expect the girl’s mother to fight with everything she had to save her daughter. But Michelle Martens, according to her own reported account to police, is not that kind of mother.
In her statement to police, it appears that Martens wanted to watch as her boyfriend, Fabian Gonzales, 31, and his cousin Jessica Kelley, 31, raped her 10-year-old daughter Victoria Martens before killing her and trying to dispose of her body.
A detective detailed Martens’ account in a criminal complaint filed against Kelley, who had been hospitalized for two days after she jumped from a balcony of the northwest Albuquerque apartment trying to flee from officers. She was transferred to jail Friday morning.
In the complaint, Martens, 35, told police that she watched Gonzales and Kelley sexually assault Victoria for her own “sexual gratification” after the pair had injected the girl with methamphetamine.
“… Michelle stood by and watched as Fabian strangled (Victoria),” a detective wrote in the complaint. “Michelle then watched as Jessica stabbed (Victoria) in the torso with a knife.”
Kelley is charged with kidnapping, child abuse resulting in death, tampering with evidence, conspiracy, criminal sexual penetration of a minor and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
She arrived at the sprawling Metropolitan Detention Center on Albuquerque’s West Side around 11 a.m. Friday.
A group of reporters were waiting for her at the gates and ran alongside the police car she was in, asking questions. She denied involvement, and when asked why Victoria was killed, she said, “It’s a little girl; I don’t know.”
She was wearing what appeared to be blue hospital clothing, and she had a cast on her right foot. An officer helped her out of the car and into a wheelchair.
Martens and Gonzales had already been booked into the county jail early Thursday morning and are being held on $1 million cash only bonds. Kelley’s bond will be set during her felony first appearance scheduled for today.
Martens and Gonzales are charged with child abuse resulting in death, tampering with evidence and other charges. Gonzales is also charged with criminal sexual penetration of a minor.
Risk assessment planned
MDC spokeswoman Nataura Powdrell-Moore said all three suspects will go through a risk assessment to determine how much danger they are in from other inmates, or if they are a threat to others. Jail officials will then decide where the three suspects will be placed. But she said that the two highest-security options are segregation or a high-risk pod.
Victoria’s 8-year-old brother was not at home at the time of her death.
Court records show that the boy’s father has custody of him on Wednesdays.
On Friday, the boy, father and the boy’s grandmother were at 2nd Judicial District Court talking to a clerk in the domestic violence room near family court.
The father declined to comment about why they were there, asking reporters to respect his privacy.
Martens and he had been at the tail end of child support and custody negotiations after a case was filed in 2015, according to court records filed in District Court.
In those records, he alleged that Martens had retaliated against him because she incorrectly believed he reported her to the Children,Youth and Families Department.
Henry Varela, a CYFD spokesman, said the department had not received any allegations against any of the three suspects involving physical abuse or sexual abuse or drugs in the home.
He said he couldn’t comment further due to confidentiality restrictions in the state’s Children’s Code.
Albuquerque Public Schools spokeswoman Monica Armenta said the district is looking into whether there were any complaints involving Victoria, her brother or Martens.
Kelley has history of drug use
Kelley, who a friend said has a 12-year-old son and a 15-year-old daughter, has been in and out of jail for more than a decade.
Jail records show that she has a tattoo that reads “most hated” on her right hand.
Her grandfather, Tommy Collins, said that, although family members knew she had problems with drugs and had had several run-ins with the law, the family never imagined she could do the crime she is accused of.
“There couldn’t have been any warning signs of anything like that,” Collins said. “I didn’t think she was capable of doing that.”
He said Kelley started using marijuana more than 10 years ago, then moved on to heroin and other drugs. He said the family tried to send her to rehab but she wouldn’t go.
“She was raised well and had a good childhood,” Collins said. “She got into drugs and fell in with the wrong people. She wouldn’t listen to her mother or anyone else.”
At a Friday evening news conference, County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley and City Councilor Klarissa Peña addressed the fact that many of the horrific crimes perpetrated throughout the community are linked to drug abuse and mental health issues.
They announced that they will hold a special session of the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Government Commission next Tuesday to discuss solutions to better protect children in the community.
“I know there is talk about what should happen to these people, and, yes, they should be punished to the fullest extent of the law,” Peña said. “But the real underlying issue in our community is we have a drug epidemic, and we have to start addressing it.”