Prison mandated in child abuse plea

Jessie Martinez

A man accused of inflicting a range of injuries on a young boy must serve a prison sentence under a plea agreement formalized Thursday.

Jessie Martinez, 30, will be sentenced to a term of 15 to 27 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections after a guilty plea to a lone count of child abuse causing serious bodily injury, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Mark Hand.

Martinez was ordered held without bond pending sentencing, which is scheduled July 26 before District Judge Valerie Robison.

Prosecutors had alleged Martinez and his former girlfriend, Ashleigh Wallace, 28, engaged in a pattern of abuse against Wallace’ 4-year-old son, Elijah, who was admitted by his mother Jan. 13 at St. Mary’s Hospital with injuries including a broken right arm, head trauma and bruises to his body.

In separate interviews with Mesa County sheriff’s investigators, Martinez and Wallace both acknowledged they observed changes in Elijah’s physical condition two days prior to Wallace taking the boy to the hospital, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

A doctor said the delay in seeking treatment “substantially impacted” and worsened the boy’s condition.

The affidavit said the couple offered varying accounts on how the boy was injured.

Martinez attempted suicide at the Mesa County Jail days before he was formally charged in the case last January.

Colorado Bureau of Investigation arrest records show Martinez had 18 prior arrests or citations in Colorado.

Wallace, meanwhile, could receive probation up to a maximum of 14 years in prison after pleading guilty April 8 to child abuse causing serious bodily injury and felony attempt to influence a public servant.


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