Annapolis, MD -- Anne Arundel County State's Attorney Wes Adams announced today that Martin Martinez-Ballinas, 29, of Crofton, pleaded guilty to Failure to Remain at the Scene of an Accident Resulting in Death.
"Lance Corporal James Walden was prepared to sacrifice his life in service to our country," said Anne Arundel County State's Attorney Wes Adams. "Instead, because he could not follow the simple rules of traffic, Mr. Martinez-Ballinas robbed LCpl Walden of the opportunity to continue defending our rights and freedoms. Although no sentence could quell the loss of such a honorable young man and Marine, I am grateful to Judge Kiessling for ensuring Mr. Martinez-Ballinas is forced to reckon with the consequences of his reckless decision."
On February 24, 2017 at approximately 3:36 pm, Anne Arundel Police Department responded to the area of Patuxent Road and Conway Road for a report of a motor vehicle collision.
Upon investigation, police learned that Martin Martinez-Ballinas was traveling southbound on Patuxent Road at approximately 30 mph above the posted speed limit of 35 mph. Due to excessive speed, Martinez-Ballinas lost control of his vehicle in a curved section of the roadway, crossed the centerline, and struck an oncoming motorcyclist.
The victim, identified by his military ID as Lance Corporal James Ray Walden III, 21, was ejected from his motorcycle and landed in the woods approximately 36 ft from the shoulder of the road. He was pronounced dead at the scene by Anne Arundel County Paramedics. LCpl Walden was stationed at Fort George G. Meade at the time.
Immediately following the collision, Martinez-Ballinas fled the scene of the crash on foot without attempting to render any aid to the victim. At approximately 4:34 pm, he was located by police helicopter and police canine about a half a mile away, hiding outside between large stacks of concrete pallets.
Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Laura S. Kiesslingsentenced Martinez-Ballinas to 6 years in prison and 5 years of supervised probation upon release.
Judge Laura S. Kiessling presided over the case. Assistant State's Attorney Michael McGraw prosecuted the case on behalf of the citizens of Anne Arundel County.