NEW YORK (AP) — A convicted felon was indicted Thursday after prosecutors said a DNA match linked him to the brutal rape and strangulation death of a 23-year-old fashion student in her apartment in 2009.
Jose Martinez pleaded not guilty to murder in the death of Carmen Saldana.
"I'm not a criminal," he said in court, according to the Daily News of New York. His attorney didn't immediately return call seeking comment.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Martinez walked the Fashion Institute of Technology student home to the apartment she shared with her family in Queens after he saw her on the street leaving a party.
He asked if he could come in and she refused, prosecutors said. Martinez kicked in the apartment door and forced his way inside, where he raped and strangled her, prosecutors said.
Her mother discovered the body and a DNA sample was taken.
Martinez was required to give a DNA sample while serving one to three years in prison after pleading guilty to reckless endangerment for attacking a taxi driver at LaGuardia Airport in 2011. His DNA was run through the database and the match came up, prosecutors said.