Capitol rioter from Santa Fe acquitted on all counts

By: - April 6, 2022 3:24 pm

Matthew Martin took a selfie on Jan. 6, 2022. (Courtesy of the U.S. Department of Justice)

A federal judge acquitted a defense contractor from Santa Fe on Wednesday of all charges related to the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

U.S. District Court Judge Trevor N. McFadden held the bench trial for Matthew Martin over two days. The government brought three witnesses to testify and Martin himself also testified, according to court records.

NBC News reports that McFadden said there was reasonable doubt about whether Martin knew he was going into a restricted building but also said it was “more likely than not” that Martin knew he wasn’t supposed to.

Martin is the first person to be cleared of all charges related to the violent events at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

“I’m hoping to get my life back together — get my job back,” Martin told reporters after the verdict. He indicated to reporters that he works in Los Alamos.

A witness told an FBI agent that Martin “had indicated he would be taking leave on January 6, 2021,” according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court.

The witness said Martin works for a defense contracting company that works with the federal government. Court records show Martin has a top-secret security clearance. 

Investigators identified Martin using phone geolocation data and Capitol surveillance video. Police arrested him in Santa Fe on April 22, 2021.

Prosecutors charged Martin on June 9, 2021 with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; disorderly conduct which impedes the conduct of government business; disruptive conduct in the Capitol buildings; and parading, demonstrating or picketing in the Capitol buildings.

He was arraigned on July 2, 2021, and pleaded not guilty to all counts. He stayed out of jail on his personal recognizance through the trial.

Matthew Martin, of Santa Fe, is shown in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol on surveillance camera footage. (Courtesy of the U.S. Department of Justice)

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Austin Fisher
Austin Fisher

Austin Fisher is a journalist based in Santa Fe. He has worked for newspapers in New Mexico and his home state of Kansas, including the Topeka Capital-Journal, the Garden City Telegram, the Rio Grande SUN and the Santa Fe Reporter. Since starting a full-time career in reporting in 2015, he’s aimed to use journalism to lift up voices that typically go unheard in public debates around economic inequality, policing and environmental racism.