Co-defendant who robbed 2014 homicide victim gets 7 years

A co-defendant charged in connection with the 2014 homicide of Julio Cesar Cruz has been sentenced to seven years of imprisonment for robbing the victim while the other defendant in the case is currently incarcerated in state prison for causing the man’s death.

Dante Martin (left) and Michael Holman

Dante Martin (left) and Michael Holman

Dante Martin, 22, was originally charged with murder during the commission of a crime but pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery in September and on Friday received his formal punishment. 

Mercer County Superior Court Judge Robert Billmeier on Friday sentenced Martin to seven years of incarceration. The city man must serve 85 percent of the term behind bars and will be subjected to three years of parole supervision upon release.

The other defendant in the case, Michael Holman, 22, pleaded guilty earlier this year to first-degree aggravated manslaughter and is currently serving out a 15-year prison sentence at the Garden State Youth Correctional Facility.

Authorities arrested Martin and Holman on Feb. 27, 2014, charging both with murder in connection with the robbery-turned-homicide of 18-year-old Julio Cesar Cruz.

The incident occurred on Feb. 15, 2014, when Holman approached Cruz in the first block of Rusling Street in Trenton and slammed the victim on the ground as Martin robbed him. Cruz suffered a mortal head injury during the attack and was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

Prior to being sentenced, Martin and Holman were both being held at the Mercer County Correction Center on high monetary bail. They both received about 1,300 days of jail credit. Holman is scheduled to be released from state prison on Nov. 27, 2026, while Martin is projected to be released on parole in less than three years.

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