The teenager pleads guilty to murder but does not admit that he pulled the trigger

The teenager pleads guilty to murder but does not admit that he pulled the trigger

March 7—Abram Martinez pleaded guilty Tuesday to first-degree felony murder in the robbery and fatal shooting of 19-year-old Isaiah Herrera, but pleaded not guilty to a February 2021 slaying. Nambe neighborhood.

Ryan Villa, an attorney for 19-year-old Martinez — who was 17 at the time of Herrera’s death — said at a plea hearing in state district court that his client conspired with other teenagers to rob Herrera during a marijuana transaction around Feb. 4. 2021, and Herrera was killed during the incident. However, Villa said Martinez did not admit to pulling the trigger.

Two other teenagers were charged with robbery, but Martinez was charged with murder.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Anthony Long said under Martinez’s plea agreement, he could face up to 15 years in prison, with an additional 15 years suspended.

State District Judge T. Glenn Ellington set Martinez’s sentencing hearing Wednesday morning after accepting a plea deal Long indicated that a number of Herrera’s family members will speak during the proceedings.

Martinez was also charged with robbery, tampering with evidence, conspiracy to tamper with evidence and conspiracy to commit robbery, according to online court records. Those charges were dismissed under the plea agreement.

Nearly two years before Herrera’s death, a Rio Arriba County sheriff’s deputy shot Martinez twice with a stun gun during a high-profile incident at Espaola Valley High School. A widely circulated video of the incident sparked outrage. The deputy was fired months after the incident and later charged. He pleaded no contest in December to one count of false imprisonment and agreed never to work in law enforcement again.

Martinez, who was a 15-year-old special education student at the time, eventually received a $1.3 million settlement from Rio Arriba County and the Espaola School District to settle his civil lawsuit over the matter.

This is a developing story. Check back here for more details.

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