Pennsylvania Murderer James Martin Nabbed in 1998 Rape/Murder Of 14-Year-Old Bronx Girl

Categories: Crime
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WNBC
Marleny Cruz was raped and murdered back in 1998. Today, authorities will unseal an indictment charging 40-year-old James Martin with her murder.

The Bronx District Attorney's Office will unseal an indictment this morning charging a convicted Pennsylvania killer with the 1998 rape and murder of a 14-year-old Bronx girl.

James Martin, 40, already is in prison in Pennsylvania for a collection of crimes, including two strangulation murders -- which is the same way he allegedly killed 14-year-old Marleny Cruz in a Bronx park 13 years ago.

One of Martin's previous murders was over a $115 pair of Air Jordans that reportedly didn't even fit him. At the time, Martin was only 17. The murder landed Martin a supporting role in a Sports Illustrated cover story about an increase in violent robberies over high-priced celebrity endorsed clothing.

For his second murder, Martin fatally strangled his live-in girlfriend, leaving her body in a dumpster in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Now Martin will face yet another murder charge thanks to a Bronx homicide detective who retrieved skin cells taken from underneath the finger nails of Cruz. The DNA recovered matched Martin's.

Martin's been extradited back to New York to face the new charges of second-degree murder, rape, and criminal sex act. We expect the Bronx D.A. to release the indictment later today. Check back for updates.
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Danielle Russell
Danielle Russell

Yes, I believe DNA was available in 1998 and was wondering why this man is out of prison after killing his wife? DNA was used in the OJ Simpson trial linking him to the scene. Do no recall the year.

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