Corona man sentenced for strangling an Astoria woman to death

By Bill Parry

A 22-year-old Corona man was sentenced to 14 years to life in prison for the strangulation murder of a young woman he met on the street, followed home and then killed with his bare hands in July 2009, according to the Queens district attorney.

Jose Martinez was just 15 years old and riding his bicycle in Astoria on July 12, 2009 when he encountered Carmen Saldana, a 23-year-old fashion student. He followed her to the home she shared with her mother.

With Martinez right behind her, Saldana rushed inside her apartment and locked the door, but Martinez kicked it open and entered. She argued with the teen and a physical altercation ensued.

Martinez put his hands around the young woman’s neck and choked her to death.

“This was a senseless and brutal crime — made all the more unfathomable because the defendant was just 15 years old at the time,” DA Richard Brown said. “A young woman’s life was tragically cut short and the defendant, now an adult, will spend a lengthy term behind bars to protect society.”

In December 2015, Martinez pleaded guilty to second-degree murder before Queens Supreme Court Justice Gregory Lasak, who sentenced Martinez to 14 years to life.

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparry@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4538.

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