Man gets life without parole for setting sister's ex-boyfriend on fire in Bronx in 2020

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Thursday, March 21, 2024
Man who set sister's ex-boyfriend on fire in Bronx sentenced
Marcus Solis has more on the family's reaction to the sentencing.

HIGHBRIDGE, Bronx (WABC) -- A man was sentenced to life without parole for fatally stabbing and setting his sister's ex-boyfriend on fire in 2020.

Adones Betances, who refused to enter the courtroom Thursday afternoon, was sentenced for the murder after he apparently became upset about the relationship with the younger girl.

"Winston Ortiz was killed in a torturous manner; stabbed and then set afire while he was still alive, because the defendant was upset that his sister and Winston had had a relationship," said Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark. "He will be remembered as a caring, family-oriented young man and it's unfathomable to think he was killed in such a horrific way."

The 18-year-old victim, Winston Ortiz, had been dating Betances' younger sister, who was 14 when she met him at church.

For his part, Ortiz was active at his church, and had survived a brain aneurysm.

"He was never a danger to anybody," said Ortiz's grieving mother who couldn't continue to address the court.

A grief counselor finished reading the victim impact statement.

The relationship had broken off before the attack. As he was dying, Ortiz told responding police officers that Betances set him on fire, in what was a premeditated attack.

"The defendant has caused so much hurt and pain to my family for what he has done and has shown no remorse," said a family member of Ortiz.

The trial was particularly gut wrenching for the Ortiz family who watched police bodycam footage where the dying teen identified his attacker and then prayed for forgiveness.

The Ortiz family implored the judge to issue the maximum sentence of life without the possibility of parole.

"He does not want redemption," said William Ortiz, Winston's brother. "He wants to kill. If he's released from prison, he will do this again or worse. I fear for my life. I fear for my little brother's life. I fear for the rest of my family."

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