The Latest: Woman enters plea ahead of trial in girl’s death

January 7, 2019

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest in the prosecution stemming from the 2106 killing of a 10-year-old Albuquerque girl (all times local):

2:15 p.m.

A judge has approved a plea deal for a woman arrested in the slaying of a 10-year-old Albuquerque girl — just before the defendant’s trial was set to start.

Jessica Kelley pleaded no contest Monday to child abuse resulting in death and other charges.

She had been set to stand trial this week on charges stemming from the killing of Victoria Martens, who authorities say was found dead in an apartment bathtub.

Kelley has said a man entered the apartment the night Victoria was killed looking for Fabian Gonzales, who was dating the girl’s mother and is Kelley’s cousin.

Authorities say Gonzales wasn’t present when Victoria was killed, but still faces charges of tampering with evidence and reckless abuse of a child resulting in death.

The girl’s mother pleaded guilty to child abuse resulting in death. Authorities faulted her for leaving her daughter in a dangerous situation.


8:14 a.m.

Trial proceedings are set to begin this week for a woman charged in the 2016 killing of a 10-year-old Albuquerque girl.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that jury selection will commence Tuesday in the case against Jessica Kelley, who faces charges of murder and child abuse resulting in death.

She also faced rape charges but those were dropped Friday due to lack of forensic evidence.

A judge in September rejected a plea deal for Kelley.

Authorities say Victoria Martens was found dead in the bathtub of her mother’s Albuquerque apartment.

The girl’s mother, Michelle Martens, pleaded guilty to child abuse recklessly caused resulting in death. The trial of the mother’s boyfriend, Fabian Gonzales, on the same charge has been postponed.

Prosecutors believe another man was involved in the killing.


Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com

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