Chicopee man sentenced to life in prison in killing of pregnant woman


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A man convicted of killing a pregnant woman in Springfield more than a decade ago was sentenced to life in prison Thursday.

A Hampden County Superior Court found 46-year-old Benjamin Martinez guilty of stabbing Caridad Puente 30 times in her Taylor Street apartment on June 9, 2004. He was convicted of first-degree murder after DNA evidence linked him back to the crime.

Puente was pregnant at the time, and police say her 11-month old baby was found crying and screaming next to her body.

Martinez wasn’t arrested until 2014, a decade after the gruesome murder. Police retested the blood found underneath on the sink and cabinets in Puente’s apartment, and it matched Martinez’s DNA. His DNA was also found underneath her fingernails.

“My sympathy is with the victim’s family, as I hope this verdict brings them closure, and a measure of justice for their loved one,” Hampden County District Attorney Anthony Gulluni said in a statement sent to 22News.

First-degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole.

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