At­tor­ney: Ac­cused mur­derer did not fire gun

Judge rules de­fen­dant in shoot­ing near Es­pañola must re­main in jail

Albuquerque Journal - - METRO & NM - BY T.S. LAST JOUR­NAL NORTH

SANTA FE — An at­tor­ney for one of the men charged with first-de­gree mur­der in the shoot­ing death of 18-year-old Cameron Martinez north of Es­pañola last week says his client didn’t fire a gun dur­ing the car-to-car shoot­ing that re­sulted in Martinez’s death and left three other peo­ple in­jured.

But af­ter a de­ten­tion hear­ing in state Dis­trict Court Fri­day, Judge Ja­son Lid­yard ruled that de­fen­dant An­ton Martinez, 19 – not re­lated to the shoot­ing vic­tim — must re­main in jail un­til trial.

An­other man charged with mur­der in the killing, Mark Hice, 22, and his girl­friend Brit­tany Gar­cia, 21, who is fac­ing lesser charges, waived a time limit for their de­ten­tion hear­ings. Their at­tor­neys want more time to re­view ev­i­dence be­fore a hear­ing on con­tin­ued in­car­cer­a­tion pend­ing trial.

Mean­while, a fourth per­son who was in the car driven by Gar­cia and with al­leged shoot­ers Hice and An­ton Martinez as pas­sen­gers has also been charged. Sa­van­nah Martinez, 23, turned her­self in to po­lice this week and is charged with tam­per­ing with ev­i­dence and con­spir­acy to com­mit ag­gra­vated as­sault with a deadly weapon.

Sa­van­nah and An­ton Martinez are no re­la­tion to vic­tim Cameron Martinez. In the fa­tal shoot­ing, po­lice say Hice and An­ton Martinez fired from one car and an­other mur­der de­fen­dant, Axel Za­mar­ron, 17, fired from an­other car. They tar­geted the Sub­aru that Cameron Martinez and his three com­pan­ions were rid­ing in by mis­take, po­lice say.

Hice, who had been in­volved in a shootout ear­lier in the day, pro­vided weapons to the two other gun­men and told them to shoot any­one who Hice felt might be a threat to him as they cruised N.M. 68 near the casino at Ohkay Owingeh pueblo. Hice mis­took the Sub­aru that Cameron Martinez was in for the ve­hi­cle of some­one he had bad blood with, prose­cu­tors says.

At Fri­day’s hear­ing for An­ton Martinez that took place in a packed court­room, Dis­trict At­tor­ney Marco Serna ar­gued that An­ton was a threat to the pub­lic and com­mu­nity and should be kept in jail. “This was a hor­rific, hor­rific crime that the de­fen­dant took part in with com­plete dis­re­gard to the pub­lic,” he said, later adding that it was a mir­a­cle no one else was killed. “The de­fen­dant was told to point and shoot, and he did.”

At that, de­fen­dant Martinez shook his head no.

At­tor­ney Stephen Aarons, rep­re­sent­ing An­ton Martinez, said he agreed that the shoot­ing was a hor­rific in­ci­dent and that it was a mir­a­cle no one else was killed. “But the ques­tion is whether the de­fen­dant did a vi­o­lent act that day,” he said.

Aarons said that only Hice has told po­lice that An­ton Martinez fired a weapon. “The truth is he doesn’t know,” Aarons said. He said that the two woman in the car and An­ton all were yelling at Hice to stop shoot­ing.

Let­ters from two Es­pañola pas­tors at­test­ing to An­ton’s char­ac­ter were sub­mit­ted, but Judge Lid­yard was not swayed and ruled that Martinez would stay in jail with­out bail un­til his trial.


Mark Hice, left, and An­ton Martinez — both charged with first-de­gree mur­der for the shoot­ing death of an 18-year-old north of Es­pañola last week — sit in a Santa Fe court­room for a hear­ing Fri­day.

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