Man Gets Only 10 Years After Killing Brother And Saying 3 Black Men Did It
A Bronx man who stabbed his younger brother to death, then tried to blame the killing on three made-up black men, will serve 10 years behind bars — a sentence that left the slain sibling’s family fuming.
As teared poured from his eyes and snot ran from his nose, Dennis Martinez begged Bronx Supreme Court Judge Lester Adler to give him “the lowest possible time that you can” for killing his 36-year-old brother, Jorge Montanez, saying he’ll be forever haunted by his actions.
A jury found the 53-year-old Martinez guilty of manslaughter in October.
“He was my dearest brother. I tried to raise him the best way I could. I was only 13 when he came into my life,” Martinez told Judge Lester Adler. “I loved him and I am going to miss him a great deal. I pray every day for forgiveness, for what happened.”
Martinez’s lawyer wiped his nose for him after the statement.
Adler said he was more concerned with Martinez’s lies than his nightmares.
“You just said you have nightmares concerning the death of your brother. I have some trouble with that because within seconds of stabbing him, you contrived a story, made up a story of three black males attacking you and your brother in the hallway,” Adler said.
Despite the judge’s stern words, Montanez’s ex-wife blasted the sentence as too light.
"There was no justice today. He did not get justice today. We're all sad,” Deborah Mercado, 41, said. "You let a man pretty much walk and do whatever he wants with his life whereas another man's life was cut short.”
Prosecutors were asking for the maximum sentence — 25 years.
Martinez stabbed his brother to death in the siblings’ apartment in the Castle Hill Houses in the Bronx on March 4, 2016. Martinez was angry that Montanez was too loud and woke him up, and he pulled out a knife as they argued, stabbing him in the chest, back and leg, prosecutors said.
His lawyer, Daniel Mentzer, said that though Martinez shouldn’t have lied about what happened, Montanez became violent when he drank.
“The man that Dennis Martinez encountered that morning in his bedroom was a man who had been drinking, no doubt about that,” Mentzer said, adding, “I’m not suggesting that he hasn’t done anything. He could’ve kicked his brother out, but he didn’t. He has a responsibility that he needs to bear and he will.”
The killing left Montanez’s family in tatters, his relatives said.
“Life as I knew it with my father by my side is over,” said the victim’s 17-year-old daughter, Anilece Montanez. “The worst part is sitting here today knowing that the man I once called a dear uncle took my hero away from me, my best friend, my father.
“My father did nothing but love, care for and worry about his brother, Dennis Martinez, who caused the hurt and pain of many. I am their voice and I will always be their voice because after the death of my father I know how it feels to not have a voice.”