NJ man will spend life in prison for ‘butchering’ couple, judge says
A 26-year-old Long Branch man will spend the rest of his life in prison for the brutal double murder of a couple, also from Long Branch, six years ago.
Carlos Menjivar was sentenced on Friday by Monmouth County Presiding Criminal Judge David Bauman. Menjivar received a life sentence without the chance of parole for the murder of 35-year-old Maria Yolanda Catejo-Munoz. He received a consecutive life sentence for the murder of 33-year-old Fredis Orlando Ventura.
During the sentencing, Judge Bauman said that Menjivar “did not simply murder the victims, he butchered them.”
The couple's bodies were found with multiple stab wounds at Ventura's apartment in March 2013, a day after Catejo-Munoz was reported missing to police.
Nearly two years after the couple was killed, Menjivar admitted to detectives that he had stabbed Ventura in the neck with a knife -- but he said he had been forced to do so by another person. Police said that was proven to be a lie by DNA, forensic evidence and Menjivar's own phone records.
During Menjivar's two-month jury trial, Prosecutors said he had been invited over by Ventura, and attacked the couple after another guest had left.
Menjivar was found guilty in December 2018 of two counts of first-degree murder, and one count of Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, and one count of Unlawful Possession of a Weapon.
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