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Popular bar owner's killer sentenced to 25 years to life

Posted at 7:39 AM, Dec 04, 2014
and last updated 2015-11-29 07:39:52-05

The western New York man convicted of killing a prominent Kenmore bar owner was sentenced Thursday morning to 25 years to life in prison.

It has been nearly one and a half years since the slaying of 62-year-old Vincent James Cottone, known as "Jim" to his loved ones, shook a neighborhood in the Village of Kenmore.

Cottone was found stabbed to death in his home on Landers Road.

Cottone's cousin, Toni Barrone, asked Judge Russell Buscaglia for the maximum sentence, calling the crime "cold blooded murder."

In court, Barrone remembered her cousin as a gentle person.

"Since he was a young boy, he had big dreams, and he did everything he could to realize those dreams."

One of those dreams was owning a restaurant. Cottone owned Malone's Bar and Grill, a popular restaurant located right around the corner from his house.

Judge Buscaglia found Antonio Martin-Brown guilty of second degree murder. Martin-Brown had been caught stealing an $800 check from Cottone's house.

Prosecutors say Martin-Brown murdered Cottone just 36 hours after the victim went to police about the stolen money.

"This was to silence the victim," said Frank Sedita, the Erie County District Attorney. "This is a straight out, premeditated, intentional, vicious murder."

The defense tried to argue a case of extreme emotional disturbance, by claiming that Martin-Brown and Cottone had been lovers. However, Buscaglia never bought the defense.

Martin-Brown had waived his right to a jury trial. He was sentenced Thursday morning to 25 years to life in prison.

He will also serve one year in prison for petit larceny.