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Former Aurora officer found guilty for failure to intervene

Francine Martinez was accused of not intervening when another officer pistol-whipped and put his hands around the throat of a man in July 2021.

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — A former Aurora Police officer has been found guilty for not stepping in during a violent arrest that took place in July 2021.

Francine Martinez was convicted Friday afternoon on one count of failure to intervene. Her trial lasted three days. The jury came back with the guilty verdict just after 3 p.m. Friday. Failure to intervene is a misdemeanor offense.

Martinez faces up to a year in jail and fines when she is sentenced on June 2.

Martinez and now-former officer Jon Haubert responded to a trespassing call near the area of South Parker Road and Dartmouth Avenue on July 23, 2021. While they responded to the trespassing call, they encountered Kyle Vinson, who had a warrant out for his arrest.

Body camera footage, which was shown in court on Wednesday, showed Haubert with his hands around Vinson's throat for nearly 40 seconds. The video appeared to show Vinson beginning to lose consciousness.

Aurora Police's chief at the time said the video also showed Haubert strike Vinson with his duty weapon as many as 13 times. The video also showed that Haubert held the gun to Vinson's head while Vinson was facedown.

Vinson suffered numerous injuries during the altercation including:

  • Bruise and cuts on forehead
  • Right eye was half swollen shut and bruised
  • Cut on top of the head that required five stitches
  • Bruising on the chest area

During testimony Wednesday, Vinson said he believed Haubert was not going to stop and feared that he was going to die. He said Martinez stood by and did not say anything or try to step in to stop Haubert.

Vinson's attorneys released the following statement after Martinez' conviction:

"We are heartened by today’s jury verdict in the case of People v. Francine Martinez, 21CR001676. In this case, Officer Martinez had a front-row seat to the brutal assault of Mr. Vinson at the hands of her fellow officer. Her failure to protect Mr. Vinson was unconscionable and in violation of her basic duties. We commend Chief Deputy District Attorney Brian Sugioka and the Arapahoe County District Attorney’s Office for prosecuting this case and recognizing the criminal nature of Officer Martinez’s failure to intervene."

Martinez was fired from the Aurora Police Department the month after the incident.

Haubert, who resigned from his position with APD the week after the incident, is scheduled to go to trial in November.

He is charged with the following:

  • Attempted first-degree assault
  • Second-degree assault 
  • Felony menacing
  • Official oppression
  • First-degree official misconduct

Colorado lawmakers passed a police accountability bill in 2020 in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minnesota. That law made it a crime for officers not to intervene or report use of force incidents.   

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