Grand jury indicts Sonny Martinez in strangulation death of girlfriend


BUFFALO – A grand jury has indicted a Cheektowaga man in the strangulation death of his girlfriend this past January.

Sonny Martinez, 26, of Ivanhoe Road, was arraigned before Erie County Court Judge James Bargnesi on an indictment charging him with one count of Manslaughter in the Second Degree, two counts of Attempted Aggravated Sexual Abuse in the First Degree and two counts of Attempted Aggravated Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn’s office announced Thursday.

Mr. Martinez is accused of strangling and recklessly causing the death of his girlfriend, Brittney Balbuzoski, 23, of Buffalo while the two engaged in sexual intercourse at his Ivanhoe Road home.

The district attorney’s office says if convicted on all charges, he faces a maximum of 59 years in prison.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Christine M. Garvey of the DA’s Homicide Bureau.

Mr. Martinez is scheduled to return to court on Tuesday, April 9, 2019, at 9:30 am for a pre-trial conference.  He remains in jail without bail.


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