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Cheektowaga man pleads guilty to strangling girlfriend

A Cheektowaga man has pleaded guilty in Erie County Court to second degree manslaughter as a sexually motivated felony in connection with the strangulation death of his girlfriend.

Sonny Martinez, 26, admitted to causing the death of Brittney Balbuzoski, 23, in his apartment on Ivanhoe Road in Cheektowaga in the early morning hours of Jan. 19. Erie County District Attorney John Flynn has said the strangulation occurred in a moment of erotic asphyiation.

Martinez is currently being held without bail and will be sentenced on Aug. 28. He is facing up to 15 years in prison and will also be required to register as a sex offender upon his release.

Mark Wozniak, WBFO's local All Things Considered host, has been at WBFO since mid-1978.