A Brooklyn man who pleaded guilty to murdering his wife and disposing of her dismembered remains was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Wednesday.
The New York Daily News reports that Phillip Martin, 43, appeared in court on Wednesday to receive his sentencing for the 2017 murder of his wife Diana Rodriguez-Martin, whose grieving relatives were there to face him.
Rodriguez-Martin reportedly went missing in January 2017, and his family immediately suspected her husband, who they say had been abusive to her for over a decade.
“Our whole family was worried about her every day with you being with her because of your violent behavior,” Kathy O’Connor, a relative of Rodriguez-Martin, reportedly said in court on Wednesday.
“She lived with a monster who made her life a living hell.”
— Eyewitness News (@ABC7NY) February 18, 2017
According to the report, Martin initially tried to claim that his wife had moved out of their Prospect-Lefferts Gardens apartment, but a month after his wife was reported missing, Martin confessed to detectives that he had killed Rodriguez-Martin and lived with her decomposing body for a week before chopping it into pieces and tossing the remains into a dumpster.
Investigators still have not found the remains, and the absence of a body has contributed to what Rodriguez-Martin’s family has said is an egregiously light sentence. Prosecutors reportedly said that a murder trial would have been risky without a body, while the plea-bargain confession guaranteed a conviction.
“He’s gotten away with murder,” the victim’s Valerie Reyes-Jimenez told reporters last month after Martin entered his guilty plea.
The family remains haunted by not knowing what came of Diana’s remains.
“I can never pass a garbage bag without wondering if Diana’s body or someone else’s is in there,” Alba Reyes, Rodriguez-Martin’s aunt, told the newspaper.
“I can’t even cut up a whole chicken without thinking of Diana and hearing the bones crunch,” said Valerie Reyes-Jimenez, Diana’s sister.
Martin reportedly apologized in court on Wednesday.
“I can’t express… how sorry I am. I’m sorry,” he said.
[Feature image: NYPD Handout/Diana Rodriguez-Martin]