3rd suspect in New Mexico girl’s death held on bail
Albuquerque, N.M. — The third suspect in the horrific rape and killing of a 10-year-old Albuquerque girl whose body was dismembered made her first court appearance Saturday.
Jessica Kelley, who was seated in a wheelchair, remained silent as she listened from jail via a video feed as a judge read the charges she faces in the killing of Victoria Martens.
Judge Chris Schultz ordered the 31-year-old held on $1 million bond for multiple counts, including child abuse resulting in death, kidnapping and criminal sexual penetration of a minor. Schultz said the incident demonstrated a level of depravity that was “unfathomable.”
“I’ve been involved in the criminal law for over 30 years and this is the most inhumane case I think I’ve come across,” Schultz said.
It was not immediately clear if Kelley had hired an attorney or one had been assigned to her.
Authorities say Victoria was injected with methamphetamine, raped and strangled before her dismembered body was found in a bathtub Wednesday, on what was her 10th birthday.
Police also arrested the girl’s mother, Michelle Martens, 35, and her boyfriend, Fabian Gonzales, 31. Both also were ordered held on $1 million bond on similar charges.
Kelley, who is Gonzales’ cousin, was the last to appear in court. She had been hospitalized for a broken leg, which she suffered while trying to flee police.
Court records indicate Kelley had a prior conviction on a felony rape charge. The Albuquerque Journal reported that Kelley acted as a lookout while a woman allegedly raped another inmate at the Metropolitan Detention Center in September 2012.
She pleaded no contest to conspiracy to commit criminal sexual penetration and was sentenced to three years in prison minus nearly a year for time served.
Child welfare officials say Victoria was not known to them as a victim of previous violent abuse. But officials acknowledged Friday that Gonzales was not being monitored by probation officers or tested for drugs as mandated by a judge last year.
In that case, Fabian Gonzales was arrested for beating another woman in a car with a baby inside it while the woman was driving and ended up pleading no contest to two misdemeanor crimes that kept him out of jail. Corrections department officials said Friday they never got the judge’s order for him to be supervised by probation officers.
While the girl’s mother has no online record of an arrest in New Mexico, she told police Kelley had been released from jail just days before Victoria’s death.
The brutal details of Victoria’s death have shocked New Mexico public officials and residents. The city of Albuquerque is holding a memorial that is being billed as a birthday party for Victoria on Sunday. The mayor will speak and the city is providing free shuttles to the park hosting the event.