A Pennsylvania man received a life sentence for the 2013 murder of a 16-year-old Kearny girl inside Hudson County Superior Court on Friday, with the victim’s mother referring to him as “a cold-blooded killer” and an “inhumane animal.”
Cruz Martinez, Jr., 44, of Hazelton, Pa., was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of 16-year-old Alishia Colon.
After a dispute that involved Latin Kings street gang members and members of Colon’s family on January 17, 2013, Martinez broke down the door of her Kearny home and shot her in the head at point-blank range while her little brother – then 7 – was in the room.
A jury convicted Martinez of murder, felony murder, second-degree burglary and charges related to illegal possession of a firearm back in May.
Martinez had a lengthy criminal record dating back to 1988, including eight indictable offenses and was sentenced to 15 years in state prison for aggravated arson.
Prior to sentencing, Colon said he felt sorry for the family, but remained insistent that he was not the one who shot Colon.
Judge Martha Royster levied the sentence after hearing from Hudson County Assistant Prosecutor Sal Rozzi and Waleska Figueroa – Colon’s mother.
Family members and friends of Colon sitting in the front row of the court room seemed to find little solace in the sentencing.