Manslaughter defendant says girlfriend died of erotic asphyxiation

Jan 22, 2019

A Cheektowaga man is being charged with second-degree manslaughter in the death his girlfriend.

The Erie County District Attorney's office says Sonny Martinez, 26, of Ivanhoe Road has been arraigned in Cheektowaga Town Court.

Martinez is accused of strangling his girlfriend to death in his home early Saturday morning. DA John Flynn said the defense is claiming a case of erotic asphyxiation, "but I call it murder."

The victim is identified as Britney Balbuzoski, 23, of Buffalo.

Martinez faces a felony hearing Thursday morning and is remanded without bail. He faces a maximum of 5-15 years in prison if convicted.