Hung jury in Martinez trial

Thomas Garcia

A Quay County jury was unable to reach a verdict after two days deliberating in the trial of a Tucumcari man charged with child abuse resulting in the death of a 2-year-old Tucumcari boy.

Marcos Martinez, 22, sat in the 10th Judicial District Court Thursday as the jury declared they were unable to reach a verdict.

Following the jury’s decision, Martinez was returned to the Quay County Detention Center, where he remains on a $75,000 cash bond.

Martinez’s defendant’s attorney, Steve Mcilwain, declined comment after the trial, and the defendant’s family members did not comment.

“What this means is we now start the process all over again,” said Tim Rose, Quay County Assistant District Attorney.

Rose said the state can request a new trial setting.

Martinez is accused of child abuse resulting in the death of two-year-old Thomas Lee Prieto.

Prieto died Sept. 20, 2008 in an Amarillo hospital. Officials said he suffered spinal and brain hemorrhaging.

Martinez, identified by police as the boyfriend of the toddler’s mother, Monique Garcia, was babysitting Thomas while Garcia was working.

In an earlier interview with the Quay County Sun, Garcia said she was told by law enforcement officials Thomas’ injuries were comparable to being dropped from a 15-story building or being in a severe head-on vehicular collision.

Attempts to contact Garcia and her family were not successful Thursday.

Martinez said that Thomas was jumping on the bed and he fell.

Martinez was charged September 2008 with an open count of murder and child abuse for the death. Those charges were dismissed on Nov. 6, 2008 and Martinez was released the next day from the Quay County Detention Center.

At the time, Orlando Torres, senior trial attorney for the Quay County District Attorney’s office, said the final autopsy was not completed.

Charges against Martinez were refiled, and on June 9, 2009 he was accused of child abuse resulting in death, child abuse negligently caused, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Jury selection began Jan. 24 and the trial began Jan. 26.

The jury began deliberations at noon Wednesday.