DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE NEWS
The First Judicial District Attorney’s Office on Friday secured a guilty verdict against Diego Pichardo on charges of vehicular homicide DWI and vehicular homicide reckless driving. Pichardo was convicted in the 2019 death of Andrew Martinez, who performed under the name Wake Self. Wake Self was a much beloved and celebrated Indigenous hip-hop artist from Albuquerque, and his loss was felt across many communities.
“We are gratified by the verdict and hope that it is able to provide some solace to the family and loved ones of the victim,” said District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies. “Much credit and praise goes to Senior Trial Attorney Julie Gallardo, who has won both of the two vehicular homicides she has prosecuted since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and to Senior Trial Attorney Tony Long, who worked hard to ensure that justice was served and that dangerous drivers are removed from the road.”
Continued Carmack-Altwies, “We also owe an immense debt of gratitude to surviving victim Kevin Allende, who bravely showed the jury evidence of his extensive injuries from the crash. Kevin’s courage after the traumatic event is to be lauded.”
The jury delivered the guilty verdict quickly, deliberating for less than an hour. Pichardo faces up to 18 years in prison after sentencing.
“While no punishment can bring back the victim or erase the pain of Andrew Martinez’s loved ones, we are grateful to our attorneys and the jury for pursuing our best version of justice,” Carmack-Altwies said.