State Rep. Armando Martinez indicted in custody dispute, convening of grand jury for custody case ‘unheard of,’ Martinez’ lawyer says

gavel

A Hidalgo County grand jury has indicted state Rep. Armando Martinez for interfering with custody of his only child with his former wife, Jessica Reyes.

The indictment is the most serious of a series of incidents following the breakup of a marriage punctuated by Reyes’ decision to run against her estranged husband in 2006.

The chairman of the Hidalgo County Democratic Party invalidated Reyes because she didn’t include her full address on her application to be placed on the Democratic primary ballot that year.

Neither the authorities nor Martinez, the Democratic representative from Weslaco since 2005, have explained exactly what Martinez did to prompt the indictment. Martinez has custody of the 7-year-old boy.

Fernando Mancias, attorney for Martinez, told the Rio Grande Guardian the indictment was the result of an ongoing problem with scheduled weekend visitations by Reyes.

Mancias told the Guardian he could not in his many years as an attorney recall the convening of a grand jury for a child custody case.

“It is unheard of. I think this should be a concern for everybody,” Mancias said. “Imagine if, every time there is a dispute over a visitation schedule, you have to end up going over to the courthouse and appearing before a grand jury. It would never finish. They would be doing that year round, 24/7.”

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Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or mark@texaswatchdog.org or on Twitter at @marktxwatchdog.

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Photo of a gavel via the Superior Court of California, used via a Creative Commons license.