No charges to be filed in man’s brain injury death

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GREELEY, Colo. -- After a nearly two year investigation, Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke said he's decided he can't file criminal charges in the death of 55-year-old Mateo Martinez.

Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke.

"We could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt the cause of death," Rourke said. "Whether or not a fight he had gotten into with a man named Douglas Glaze was the cause of his death."

Martinez died in January of 2016 from a brain hemorrhage.

His family is convinced the injury was from a fight over a parking spot three months earlier, on Oct. 2, 2015.

Mateo Martinez.

"The fight, I think Doug and Stacy Glaze are the whole reason my father is not even here with us anymore," said Mateo's oldest daughter, Rafaela Martinez.

According to a police report, Doug and Stacy Glaze started a fight with Mateo Martinez in the tiny town of Ault, Colorado after Martinez parked his truck across the street from the couple's home, next to the local high school.

Martinez was there to watch a younger daughter perform as a cheerleader at a high school football game, but the Glazes told the Ault Police Department the truck blocked their view of the game.

According to the police report, Doug and Stacy Glaze appeared "intoxicated."

Witnesses told officers that Stacy Glaze "was throwing punches," while Doug Glaze took "Mateo to the ground and smashed his face into the ground."

Police cited all three adults for disorderly conduct and each had to pay a $150 fine.

But on Oct. 7, 2015, five days after the fight, Martinez went to Northern Colorado Medical Center complaining of headaches.

A CT scan found nothing suspicious. Doctors diagnosed Martinez with a concussion and sent him home.

On Nov. 17, 2015 Martinez went back to the hospital with symptoms of vomiting and extreme headaches.

That time, a CT scan found a subdural hematoma, which causes bleeding on the brain.

Two days later,  Martinez would slip into a coma and died from his brain injury on Jan. 16, 2016.

Beck Knighton and Rafaela Martinez.

Rafaela Martinez and her mom Becky Knighton, Martinez's ex-wife), are convinced the fight led to Mateo's death in January.

"It absolutely breaks my heart a lot to know that he died in this manner and nobody’s held responsible for it," said Knighton, who added she has no doubt what caused Martinez's brain injury.

"His head being bashed into the pavement over and over by Doug and Stacy Glaze."

"Those are exactly the type of blunt force trauma injuries that could or would cause these injuries (a brain hemorrahage)," Rourke said.

Mateo Martinez.

But Rourke said investigators can't account for what happened to Martinez after the fight and what might have happened to him by the time a subdural hematoma showed up on a CT scan six weeks later.

"The inability to connect those dots indicates to us and everybody involved in the criminal justice system this case cannot by proven beyond a reasonable doubt," Rourke said.

Rourke was asked if it was possible the subdural hematoma existed in October but wasn't detected on the first CT scan.

"We asked that question of the radiologists during the course of this investigation," Rourke said. "They all told us it was possible, not likely."

Instead, doctors told investigators that Martinez's death was potentially because of a combination of factors: A 2009 heart attack, stents in the arteries, extended use of blood thinners, moderate-to-heavy drinking or some unknown fall that might have occurred after the parking spot fight.

Rafaela Martinez disagrees and sais there's only one reasonable conclusion.

"I was hoping that (prosecutors) would have enough common sense to see what is literally right before their face and in their eyes," she said.

When asked if she thought a jury could put two and two together, Martinez replied, "Absolutely."

Knighton said she feels the Glazes got away with manslaughter.

"Absolutely they did," she said.

But Rourke said as bad as he feels for Martinez's family, he doesn't have the medical evidence to prove a crime.

"It will always bother me," he said. "It will always haunt all of us who worked on this case. Did that fight cause Mr. Martinez's death? If so, there's no justice for him."

The Glazes could not be reached for comment since prosecutors announced no charges would be filed.