A Bronx man who fatally stabbed his younger brother then tried to blame the killing on three imaginary Black men will spend the next 10 years of his life behind bars.
Dennis Martinez, 53, was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison for murdering his 36-year-old brother Jorge Montanez during an argument in March 2016. As reported by the New York Daily News, a teary-eyed Martinez pleaded with Bronx Supreme Court Judge Lester Adler to receive “the lowest possible time” for killing his sibling, saying his actions would haunt him forever.
“He was my dearest brother,” said Martinez, who was found guilty of manslaughter last month. “I tried to raise him the best way I could. I was only 13 when he came into my life,” I loved him and I am going to miss him a great deal. I pray every day for forgiveness, for what happened.”
Adler wasn’t buying it, however, and threw the book at the Bronx man for concocting a false story about the events of that night.
“You just said you have nightmares concerning the death of your brother,” the judge began. “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.”
Prosecutors said Martinez stabbed his brother to death in the apartment they shared at the Castle Hill Houses on March 4, 2016. Martinez was reportedly angry that Montanez was too loud and had woken him up. An argument ensued and Martinez pulled out a knife, stabbing his brother in the chest, back and right leg.
Martinez’s lawyer, Daniel Mentzer, acknowledged his client’s actions were wrong but claimed Montanez became violent after having a few drinks.
“The man that Dennis Martinez encountered that morning in his bedroom was a man who had been drinking, no doubt about that,” Mentzer said. “I’m not suggesting that he hasn’t done anything. He could have kicked his brother out, but he didn’t. He has a responsibility that he needs to bear and he will.”
Meanwhile, Montanez’s family left the courtroom angry and in tears. For them, a 10-year sentence wasn’t enough for the murder of their loved one. Prosecutors were seeking the maximum 25 years as punishment.
“There was no justice today. He did not get justice today,” said Montanez’s ex-wife, Deborah Mercado. “We’re all sad. “You let a man pretty much walk and do whatever he wants with his life whereas another man’s life was cut short.”
Anilece Montanez, the victim’s 17-year-old daughter, slammed her uncle for “taking my hero away from me.”
“My father did nothing but love, care for and worry about his brother, Dennis Martinez, who caused the hurt and pain of many,” she said. “I’m 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.”