Cheektowaga Man Pleads Guilty in Strangulation Death of His Girlfriend

Modified: July 12, 2019 8:13am

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7/8/2019

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 26-year-old Sonny Martinez of Cheektowaga pleaded guilty before Erie County Court Judge James Bargnesi to one count of Manslaughter in the Second Degree as a Sexually Motivated Felony, a Class “C” felony. 

The defendant admitted that during the early morning hours of Saturday, January 19, 2019, he caused the death of his girlfriend, 23-year-old Brittney Balbuzoski of Buffalo, inside his apartment on Ivanhoe Road in the Town of Cheektowaga. Martinez strangled the victim and recklessly caused her death. 

Martinez faces a maximum of 15 years in prison when he is sentenced on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. As part of his guilty plea, Martinez will be required to register as a sex offender upon his release. He continues to be held without bail.

DA Flynn commends Detectives Terrence Griffin and Chris Chojnacki of the Cheektowaga Police Department for their work in the investigation.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Christine M. Garvey of the DA’s Homicide Bureau.