A Buffalo man and his girlfriend have pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide charges in connection to the beating death of a Buffalo woman.
Authorities say 22-year-old Freddie Cortez and 24-year-old Micheles Romero attacked 39-year-old Jessica Garcia on Niagara Street last month.
The two are accused of punching Garcia several times in the head and causing a ruptured artery. Garcia died in the hospital two days later.
Cortez also faces assault charges; police say he pistol whipped Garcia's brother to keep him from intervening in the beating.
If convicted, Cortez and Romero face 22 and 15 years in prison, respectively.
Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 22-year-old Freddie Cortez and his girlfriend, 24-year-old Micheles Romero of Buffalo have been arraigned before Erie County Court Judge Kenneth F. Case on an indictment charging them with Manslaughter in the Second Degree and Criminally Negligent Homicide for the beating death of a Buffalo woman.
It is alleged that on August 1, 2017, the defendants assaulted 39-year-old Jessica Garcia on Niagara Street, punching her multiple times in the head and causing a ruptured artery.
Garcia died two days later at the hospital.
Cortez has also been charged with Assault in the Second Degree for allegedly pistol-whipping the victim’s brother, preventing him from intervening in the fight.
Both defendants pleaded not guilty. If convicted of the charges, Romero faces a maximum of 15 years in prison and Cortez faces a maximum of 22 years.
DA Flynn commends the investigative work of Buffalo Police Homicide Detectives, including Detective Sgt. William Cooley.
Assistant District Attorney Eugene T. Partridge III of the DA’s Homicide Bureau is prosecuting the case.
As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.