Trenton murder suspect offered plea deal in case of beating death
One of two men charged with felony murder for the brutal beating death of a Guatemalan immigrant was offered a plea deal that calls for a 25-year sentence.
Under the terms of the deal, Michael Holman, 19, of Trenton, would plead guilty to counts of aggravated manslaughter and aggravated assault. He would be required to serve a consecutive 6-year state prison term for the aggravated assault, for a combined sentence of 31 years, Assistant Prosecutor James Scott said at a status hearing Monday.
Holman was charged alongside Dante Martin, 19, for the Feb. 14, 2014 death of Julio Cesar Cruz which caused uproar in the city’s Latino community. He would have to serve 85 percent of his sentence as a condition of the No Early Release Act.
Martin’s offer has not been made public, Scott said.
Cruz was walking home from a bakery on Whittaker Avenue when he was attacked, authorities have said. The defendants allegedly forced Cruz, who was seeking a better life and had been in the U.S. only a little more than a month, to the ground. Holman rifled through his pockets while Martin kicked Cruz in the head several times, authorities have said. Cruz later was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Surveillance footage showed Holman and Martin in the area of Rusling Street before the murder. They were arrested weeks after the killing. Holman’s next court appearance is scheduled for June while Martin is due back in May