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Gainesville woman charged in death of 2-year-old was at work, attorney says
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Update: The attorney for a Gainesville woman accused with her husband of inflicting a traumatic brain injury and other injuries to a 2-year-old girl claims his client was at work at the time of the incident.

Juan Martinez, 31, and Nancy Martinez, 32, face felony murder charges and a charge of first-degree child cruelty, according to authorities.

Hall County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Derreck Booth said Juan and Nancy Martinez, who are married, were taking care of Valeria Jordan Garfias, 2, at a home in the 2000 block of Bennett Circle while the toddler’s parents were at work.

The Martinez couple are accused of causing “traumatic brain injury and other internal injuries” to Valeria between noon and 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 10.

The warrants obtained by The Times clarified that it was an internal injury to the “abdominal region.”

Nancy Martinez’s attorney, Arturo Corso, sent a statement to The Times concerning the allegations.

“Valeria’s death is a terrible tragedy.  Nancy has known the child all her life, and her mother since the two were just kids themselves.  Nancy loves Valeria and Lorena very much.  She is inconsolable.  As her counsel, I can already see that whatever happened to this child clearly happened while Nancy was at work.  It would be very easy to verify her innocence with phone and work logs.  I just hope that the official investigation doesn’t end with an arrest because these charges against Nancy are maddeningly unjust.  I ask that our community can hold judgment, focus our energies on prayers for the child’s family, and let the justice system work.  Though Nancy has no legal burden of proof as to her innocence, the State should expect a robust defense.”

The child was taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center by Hall County Fire Services before being flown to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Valeria died at the Atlanta hospital.

The child’s body was sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab for autopsy, which Booth said Tuesday, Oct. 12, was still pending.

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The Martinez couple were booked Monday, Oct. 11, in the Hall County Jail, where they remained Tuesday with no bond.

Booth said authorities believe the Martinez couple were friends or acquaintances of the girl’s parents.

Funeral services for Valeria will be 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15  at St. John Paul II Catholic Mission. 

The case is still under investigation.

The family has established a Gofundme page for funeral expenses, which has raised $1,300 as of 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to Corso’s claims regarding Nancy Martinez’s whereabouts Sunday. No attorney information for Juan Martinez was available Tuesday, Oct. 12, from Magistrate Court officials.


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Traffic moves along Spring Road past Bennett Circle in Gainesville Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Two residents of the neighborhood Juan Martinez, 31, and Nancy Martinez, 32, face felony murder charges and a charge of first-degree child cruelty, according to authorities. - photo by Scott Rogers

Previous story:  Hall County Sheriff's deputies arrested a Gainesville couple Monday on charges that they caused traumatic brain injuries in the death of a 2-year-old girl in their care.

Juan Martinez, 31, and Nancy Martinez, 32, face felony murder charges and a charge of first-degree child cruelty, according to authorities.

Hall County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Derreck Booth said Juan and Nancy Martinez, who are married, were taking care of Valeria Jordon Garfias, 2, while the toddler’s parents were at work.

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Bennett Circle in Gainesville is quiet Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Two residents of the neighborhood Juan Martinez, 31, and Nancy Martinez, 32, face felony murder charges and a charge of first-degree child cruelty, according to authorities. - photo by Scott Rogers

The Martinez couple is accused of causing “traumatic brain injury and other internal injuries” to Valeria between noon and 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 10.

The child was taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center by Hall County Fire Services before being flown to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Valeria died at the Atlanta hospital.

The child’s body was sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab for autopsy.

The Martinez couple was booked Monday, Oct. 11, in the Hall County Jail.

Booth said authorities believe the Martinez couple were friends or acquaintances of the girl’s parents.

The case is still under investigation.

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