Doña Ana County



Former Doña Ana County Detention Center inmate Joshua Martinez, 21, faces felony charges following a July 4 incident in which he took two fellow inmates hostage in a booking cell.

The hostage situation was resolved by shift personnel and the Doña Ana County Detention Center Special Response Team, who negotiated with Martinez until he released both men. Martinez had used a t-shirt to bind one of the hostage’s hands, and he was using a plastic spoon as a weapon to threaten the man and the staff. No force was deployed, and no one was injured in the incident.

Martinez was being held in the Doña Ana County Detention Center while he testified in a criminal case in Third Judicial District Court. He has since been transferred back to the Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility west of Las Cruces.

Doña Ana County Sheriff's Department Investigator Robert ‘Bo’ Nevarez investigated the incident and filed the criminal charges today with the assistance of the Third Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

Nevarez said Martinez will be charged with kidnapping and false imprisonment, both of which are second-degree felonies.

Detention Center Director Chris Barela praised his staff for the matter in which the situation was resolved.

“The shift personnel and the Special Response Team handled this exactly correctly,” he said. “They de-escalated the situation and negotiated the release of the two other inmates without resorting to force. The residents of Doña Ana County should be extremely proud of the professionalism of these officers.”

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Reporters seeking more information or interviews: may call county Public Information Director Jess Williams at (575) 525-5801.