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Suspects in Victoria Martens killing plead not guilty

Michelle Martens appears in court for her arraignment on Friday. (Jim Thompson/Journal)

Michelle Martens appears in court for her arraignment on Friday. (Jim Thompson/Journal)

Fabian Gonzales appears in court for her arraignment on Friday. (Jim Thompson/Journal)

Fabian Gonzales appears in court for her arraignment on Friday. (Jim Thompson/Journal)

Jessica Kelley appears in court for her arraignment on Friday. (Jim Thompson/Journal)

Jessica Kelley appears in court for her arraignment on Friday. (Jim Thompson/Journal)

Victoria Martens, 10. (Courtesy of Martens family)

Victoria Martens, 10. (Courtesy of Martens family)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Under intense court security this morning in state District Court, the trio indicted in the drugging, rape and murder of 10-year-old Victoria Martens were mum as their attorneys entered not guilty pleas to the charges against them.

Judge Christina Argyres decided to raise the bond for Martens’ mother Michelle Martens from $1 million to $1.5 million cash only.

Prosecutors asked for a no bond hold pending trial for the defendants in the case that has horrified the community.

Noting that she was required by state law to set some kind of bond in the case, Argyres kept the original $1 million cash only bond for co-defendants Fabian Gonzales and Jessica Kelley, who was wheeled into the courtroom in a wheelchair. Kelley broke her leg jumping from outside the second story apartment after Martens was killed.

Michelle Martens, 35, Fabian Gonzales, 31, and Jessica Kelley, 31, are each facing first degree murder, criminal sexual penetration and 17 other counts in an indictment returned a week ago. Each were being held in jail on $1 million bond.

Martens, who was Victoria’s mother and has a younger child, is alleged to have stood by and watched between Aug. 23 and the morning of Aug. 24 while Gonzales raped the girl and Kelley held Victoria down. The girl was later strangled and stabbed and dismembered. The trio is charged with tampering with evidence for allegedly hiding her underwear and other items.

According to a search warrant affidavit, Martens told Albuquerque police she had allowed other men to sexually assault her daughter and said she had sought out the men online and at work.

She told police she had set up encounters with at least three. Gonzales told police he met Martens about a month prior to the killing on an online dating website. Police are continuing to pursue leads about the other men.

So far, the charges pertain solely to Victoria Martens’ slaying.

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