NEW BRUNSWICK — A 41-year-old New Brunswick man was found guilty today of strangling and bludgeoning his wife in their apartment, Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan announced.
A jury deliberated in New Brunswick for less than an hour before convicting Carmelo Cruz of murder, two counts of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, two counts of hindering his own apprehension and a count of fabricating evidence in the death on Sept. 7, 2002 of Refugia Ruiz Olmedo, 36.
Cruz faces at least 30 years in prison when he is sentenced in New Brunswick on Nov. 3 by Superior Court Judge Bradley Ferencz.
During a trial that began on Sept. 9, Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Linda Estremera argued that Cruz tied a rope around the victim’s neck, struck her with a blunt object and fractured her skull because she planned to leave him.
An autopsy showed the cause of death was ligature strangulation and blunt force trauma to the head.
The trial was the second for Cruz, who initially was convicted in 2005, but appealed and won a new trial in 2008.
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