Fabian Gonzales, right, appears at his sentencing hearing with his attorney Stephen Aarons. Gonzales was sentenced to 37.5 years Thursday. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)




A judge on Thursday sentenced Fabian Gonzales to 37 1/2 years in prison in the 2016 killing and dismemberment of 10-year-old Victoria Martens.

Jurors on Aug. 1 found Gonzales, 37, guilty of child abuse resulting in death and seven counts of tampering with evidence and conspiracy for his role in Victoria’s killing. Gonzales had faced up to 40½ years in prison.

Second Judicial District Judge Cindy Leos said she agreed with prosecutors that Victoria would be alive today had it not been for Gonzales’ involvement in her life.

Victoria Martens (Courtesy Martens family)

“He was the conduit for her death,” Leos said shortly before pronouncing his sentence.

Cell phone records confirmed that Gonzales wasn’t in the apartment at the time Victoria was killed. But Gonzales “created the danger that led to her death,” Chief Deputy District Attorney James Grayson told jurors during the trial.

Prosecutors alleged that Gonzales and his cousin, Jessica Kelly, worked together to dismember the girl, place parts of her body in a garbage bag and wash bloody clothes and knives.

Kelley, 37, pleaded no contest in 2019 to six felony charges including reckless child abuse resulting in death, aggravated assault and other charges. She was sentenced in April to 44 years in prison.

Victoria’s mother, Michelle Martens, 40, pleaded guilty in 2018 to reckless child abuse resulting in death. She faces 12 to 15 years in prison. Her sentencing is scheduled next month