Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Escapee Says Taos Guards Let Him Go.

Byline: Daniel J. Chacon Journal Staff Writer

Allegation Comes as Man Pleads Guilty in Slayings

Andrew Martinez, who was in the Taos County jail in 1999 on a murder charge when he walked away from a work detail and killed another man while on the run, told a judge in Santa Fe on Thursday that jail guards had allowed him to escape.

In fact, Martinez told state District Court Judge Michael Vigil before pleading guilty to first-degree murder and second-degree murder charges, the guards told him they would give him a 2 1/2-hour head start.

"I find that hard to believe, but based with the other questionable situations (surrounding the escape), it just throws another log in the fire to ignite that possibility," Taos County Sheriff Charlie Martinez, who took over the embattled jail after Martinez's escape, said in a telephone interview Thursday. …

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