SAN ANTONIO, Texas (KETK) – A federal judge denied a motion on Wednesday that asked the court to reconsider bond for a Palestine man indicted in the San Antonio smuggling incident that resulted in the deaths of 53 migrants.

Christian Martinez, 28 of Palestine, was indicted in July on four counts relating to the incident and after a detention hearing it was ordered that Martinez would be detained pending trial.

The court ruled that “no condition or combination of conditions of release will reasonably assure the safety of any other person and the the community.”

That decision was upheld Wednesday after Martinez’s attorney asked the court to reconsider, but the decision is “subject to reconsideration” should additional information be presented on the issue that would reasonably assure his appearance in court and the safety of the community.

Martinez has been charged with:

  • Conspiracy to transport illegal aliens resulting in death
  • Conspiracy to transport aliens resulting in serious bodily injury and placing lives in jeopardy
  • Transportation of illegal aliens resulting in death
  • Transportation of illegal aliens resulting in serious bodily injury and placing lives in jeopardy

Court documents show a search warrant revealed texts from Martinez showing a truck loading manifest. An informant told authorities “Martinez said the driver was unaware the air conditioning unit stopped working and was the reason why the individuals died,” according to documents.


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