Bronx Man Who Claimed 3 Nonexistent Black Men Killed Brother Sentenced To Prison

Dennis Martinez at first tried to blame the attack on a trio of nonexistent Black men, who, he claimed, were smoking and creating a disturbance in their building’s lobby and went after his brother, Jorge Montanez, when he confronted them.

November 29, 2018
Police car and crime-scene tape on a city street [iStock Photo]


Police car and crime-scene tape on a city street [iStock Photo]

Photo by: DenisTangneyJr


Police car and crime-scene tape on a city street [iStock Photo]

By: Aaron Rasmussen

BRONX, NY — A New York City man will serve a decade behind bars after he stabbed his younger brother to death and then tried to blame three fictitious Black men for the crime.

On March 4, 2016, Dennis Martinez, 53, became angry after 36-year-old Jorge Montanez came home, made too much noise in the apartment they shared, and woke him up just after 6:30 A.M.

Prosecutors said the siblings began to argue and Martinez took a knife and stabbed Montanez in the right leg, back, and chest. Martinez suffered a superficial wound to the thigh, which cops believed was self-inflicted.

Martinez at first tried to blame the attack on a trio of nonexistent Black men, who, he claimed, were smoking and creating a disturbance in their building’s lobby and went after his brother, Montanez, when he confronted them.

Martinez later recanted the story and confessed to the killing.

In October, a jury found Martinez guilty of manslaughter, and, on November 27, he faced a judge to be sentenced for what District Attorney Darcel Clark called “a senseless crime.”

Martinez’s defense attorney, Daniel Mentzer, said at sentencing: “The man that Dennis Martinez encountered that morning in his bedroom was a man who had been drinking, no doubt about that.”

He added, “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.”

Martinez appeared contrite for what he had done. “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,” he told Supreme Court Judge 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.”

Prosecutors had requested Martinez be sentenced to 25 years in prison — the maximum the law allowed — but the convicted killer begged the court for “the lowest possible time.”

Judge Adler told Martinez that he had “some trouble” with him concerning his brother’s death, “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.”

Still, the judge ordered Martinez to spend just a decade in prison and five years of post-release supervision.

"There was no justice today,” Montanez’s ex-wife, 41-year-old Deborah Mercado, noted of the decision. “He did not get justice today. We're all sad.”

“Life as I knew it with my father by my side is over,” said the victim’s daughter, Anilece Montanez, 17. “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.”

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