Man convicted of stabbing pregnant woman to death in 2004

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — A Chicopee man has been convicted of first-degree murder in the death of a pregnant woman who was stabbed more than 30 times.

The Republican reports jurors needed less than four hours on Wednesday to convict Benjamin Martinez in the 2004 slaying of 35-year-old Caridad Puente.

Puente’s 11-month-old child was next to her in a closet where her body was found.

Prosecutors say the 48-year-old Martinez’s DNA was found in Puente’s Springfield apartment and under her fingernails.

Martinez says he was in the apartment the day she died to test heroin for its potency. He says he saw a drug dealer kill Puente and was cut while trying to intervene.

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Sentencing is scheduled for Thursday. First-degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole.

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Information from: The Springfield (Mass.) Republican, http://www.masslive.com/news/