Plea hearings on Friday in the murder case of 10-year-old Victoria Martens dramatically changed the public's understanding of what happened the day she was killed. Michelle Martens and Fabian Gonzales made false statements to police, which have formed much of what people outside the Albuquerque Police Department know. The district attorney revealed Friday that neither Martens nor Gonzales were home when the girl was killed, and also revealed the existence of an unidentified fourth person in the apartment. The new information adds complications to a case that's almost two years old.
Oh my, OMI
Over at the Albuquerque Journal, Colleen Heild put the screws to the Office of the Medical Investigator, which couldn't identify a body found in Albuquerque for more than a year. When OMI said it had exhausted its search possibilities, it handed responsibility to Bernalillo County, which identified Scott Hartman within a month … and let his parents know. It's a striking example of a pattern at OMI, and there are lawsuits trying to hold the public agency accountable.
Let’s make a deal
Former State Sen. Phil Griego, who's currently serving an 18-month sentence for using his position to leverage a $50,000 real estate commission, has 22 more charges against him in a separate case, including perjury and embezzlement. But recent court filings show a plea agreement has been reached between Griego's attorney and the the office of Attorney General Hector Balderas. The deal still has to be approved by a judge, but it could end Griego's appeal of his current convictions as well as put his next case to bed.
KRQE-TV had to stop broadcasting all four of the channels that originate from its Albuquerque studios Sunday evening after a man made his way into the station and sat down on the news set. KOB-TV, which is across the street, had its employees shelter in place as police swept KRQE. The man must have made his way out of the building, as police gave the all-clear signal late Sunday. Newsrooms are on high alert after a gunman killed five people ($) at the offices of the Capital Gazette in Maryland last week.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Steve Pearce has done quite well for himself, consistently ranking among the wealthiest members of Congress. Pearce set up a foundation ($), which Andrew Oxford at The New Mexican found has been giving to everything from community theater to anti-LGBTQ rights groups.
Sardinas Canyon Fire human-caused
Disappointing news out of Taos County, where officials revealed the 2,000 acre Sardinas Canyon Fire wasn't caused by a natural event. Nearly 200 people are fighting the fire, which is in rugged terrain. Officials say they're investigating how the fire began and will release more information once that work is done.
It's one of those weird weeks with a holiday right in the middle of it, but that's better than a massive project in the middle of it. Regardles of what you have planned, it looks to be pretty nice, with highs in Santa Fe moderating to the mid-80s and temperatures in the low 90s in Albuquerque. There looks to be a decent chance of thunderstorms toward the end of the week. Still way too dry for fireworks, so head somewhere sanctioned, if you'd be so kind.
Thanks for reading! The Word also urges you to keep your pets inside this week (or at least make sure your horse corrals are sturdy if you don't want an equine in your breakfast nook). Animals are scared to death of fireworks, as are many totally reasonable human beings.
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