🔺 NJ man prison-bound

🔺 Convicted of ex-girlfriend’s murder

🔺 Must serve majority of sentence

A 24-year-old Plainfield man has been sentenced to decades in state prison for killing his girlfriend.

In July, Bryan Gonzalez Martines was found guilty of first-degree murder of 19-year-old Brenda Montoya-Cruz.

A Superior Court judge sitting in Elizabeth on Wednesday handed down a sentence of  40 years, of which 85% must be served before he is eligible for parole.

Union County police

Victim reported being strangled before death

On July 6, 2020, Plainfield police were carrying out a requested welfare check at a residence in the 700 block of Kensington Avenue.

Officers found the body of Montoya-Cruz, who had been strangled to death.

Just six days earlier, the young woman had visited the Plainfield Police Department, NJ.com reported, saying that her ex-boyfriend had choked her — but declining to file for a restraining order.

Montoya-Cruz is another sad example of the risks domestic violence victims face from offenders who attempt strangulation. Statistics show that victims who survive a strangulation attempt often face violence that can escalate to death.

The stunning data from decades of domestic violence incidents led New Jersey lawmakers to strengthen penalties for non-fatal strangulation incidents.

Essex County jail ICE detainee escape missing
(Google Maps)

Martines has remained at Essex County Jail since 2021.

He is a citizen of El Salvador with a current immigration detainer but had been living in Plainfield, according to the jail.

Union County Prosecutor's Office pin
(UCPO via X)

“I hope this sentencing can bring some relief to those mourning Ms. Montoya-Cruz,” Union County Prosecutor William Daniel said in a written statement.

“We are grateful for the hard work of Assistant Prosecutors Alaina Caliendo and Shivani Trivedi along with Homicide Task Force Detectives Nora Berrios and Ryan Kirsch on this case.”

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