Ex-Aurora cop gets 6 months house arrest for failure to intervene

A former Aurora police officer will spend six months under house arrest for failing to stop another officer from pistol-whipping, choking and threatening to kill an unarmed man.

An Arapahoe County jury in April convicted Francine Martinez of failure to intervene, a misdemeanor, in connection to the 2021 beating of Kyle Vinson by fellow former Aurora police Officer John Haubert.

Martinez was the first officer in Colorado convicted by a jury of the charge created under the landmark police accountability bill passed after the 2020 George Floyd protests.

The misdemeanor carried a maximum sentence of 364 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. If Martinez violates the terms of house arrest, she will serve the remainder of her sentence in jail.

Haubert and Martinez were dispatched to a trespassing call on July 23, 2021, and contacted three men. Two of the men fled when the officers tried to arrest them on warrants, but Vinson stayed put, body camera footage of the incident shows.

Haubert drew his pistol and pointed it at Vinson, even though Vinson had his hands up and had not fled or shown any signs of physical resistance, according to Haubert’s arrest affidavit.

Martinez watched over the next two minutes as Haubert pressed the muzzle of his gun into the back of Vinson’s head, choked him and struck him in the head at least seven times with his handgun. Vinson did not strike Haubert and was not making any life-threatening actions toward the officers, according to the arrest affidavit.

During trial, Vinson testified that he feared Haubert would kill him.

Martinez was fired from the department and Haubert resigned. Aurora city leaders later paid $850,000 to settle civil claims brought by Vinson.

Haubert in June pleaded not guilty to six charges — including felony assault and menacing charges — and is scheduled for trial in November.

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