NM inmate gets 20 years for 2017 attack on CO

Joe Martinez is one of two inmates charged with the attempted killing of CO Allan Rico

Danielle Prokop
The Santa Fe New Mexican

SANTA FE — A state District Court judge has sentenced the second of two prison inmates to an additional 20 years for attempting to kill a corrections officer at the penitentiary south of Santa Fe.

District Judge T. Glenn Ellington accepted a plea deal for Joe Martinez on Tuesday.

Under his deal with state prosecutors, Martinez, 35, pleaded guilty last week to a charge of attempted murder, a first-degree felony, and also identified himself as a perpetrator in a previous crime — the assault of another prisoner in 2017, which is a third-degree felony.

Lorenzo Martinez, the co-defendant in the case, accepted an identical deal in December 2018.

In turn, prosecutors agreed to drop charges against both men of possession of a deadly weapon. None of the charges they pleaded guilty to are considered violent crimes, prosecutors and Ellington said in court Tuesday, which means the men are eligible for a reduced sentence for good behavior.

Authorities said Joe Martinez and Lorenzo Martinez, both held at the Penitentiary of New Mexico, attempted to kill prison guard Allan Rico in August 2017 with weapons fashioned from parts of a steel door and metal fence.

Rico was not in court Tuesday for Joe Martinez’s sentencing and did not prepare a victim’s impact statement to be read at the hearing.

Joe Martinez has been in prison for most of the past 15 years.

In 2004, court records show, he pleaded guilty to counts of aggravated assault, robbery and tampering with evidence, and served nine years behind bars. He was arrested again in 2013 on suspicion of parole violations.

In 2015, he pleaded guilty to charges of assaulting another prisoner and was sentenced to nine more years. Before the new charges emerged, he would have been eligible for parole in 2024.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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