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Charges against Peoria AMBER Alert suspect dropped following suicide attempt

eric maes mugshot
Posted at 1:05 PM, Feb 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-19 11:08:20-05

PEORIA, AZ — Charges have been dismissed against the Valley father accused of kidnapping his own son and killing the child’s mother.

Earlier this week we learned Eric Maes attempted suicide while in a Maricopa County jail. Maricopa County Attorney's Office tells ABC15 Maes is not likely to survive, which is ultimately why charges against him were dismissed.

"It really wouldn't do a whole lot with the conviction charge sticking but maybe, it would help with some closure I guess,” says Michael Scott Walker Jr., the victim’s brother.

RELATED: Court documents reveal Eric Maes intentionally hit woman with vehicle resulting in her death.

Walker Jr. was hoping for closure over the murder of his sister, Brittany Martie. He now believes that may never happen.

"It really hurts because a murder did occur and justice is not being served for that murder,” says Walker Jr.

MCAO says Maes' family reached out to the MCAO Wednesday night pleading for mercy for charges to be dropped so they could make medical decisions on his behalf. Maes is reportedly in a vegetative state at the hospital.

MCAO officials called the judge after hours to make it happen and said they did it for the family, not for Maes.

On Feb. 9, Peoria police were called to 21st and Dunlap avenues for reports of an injured woman and kidnapped child. Shortly after, an AMBER Alert was issued for Eric Maes who was said to have stolen Martie's vehicle with their 10-month-old son inside.

Martie later died from injuries sustained during the altercation with Maes. The child was later recovered unharmed.

"It has been reported in the news that the defendant had attempted to take his life in the recent days and so, there were injuries from that, stemming from that attempt, that made him incapacitated,” says Jennifer Liewer, a spokesperson for MCAO.

"It was in no way to relieve the defendant of any of the charges long-term and this was more about allowing his parents to make medical decisions on his behalf. That family last week did not get that decision in the loss of life of their sister and their daughter and the mother of that young boy... and that is a tragedy,” says Liewer.

Martie’s brother understands the law but is hoping eventually things might change.

"Especially in a situation like this, they have it on documentation that he confessed to turning the car around and running her over again or running her over...that right there, that should be enough,” says Walker Jr.

Jail crime detectives are investigating the suicide attempt, which is typical. The Professional Standards Bureau is reviewing whether all policies and procedures were followed.

"We are digging to find out exactly what happened. It's not going to stop here,” says Walker Jr.

As the Maes family could be saying its final goodbyes, Martie’s family is still grieving their loss.

"The past few days I've had to wake up in the morning and look through the old newscast to make sure it wasn't a horrible nightmare from the night before because it's just too surreal,” says Walker Jr.

The case has been dismissed without prejudice, meaning prosecutors have the ability to refile charges in the future if Maes recovers.