Prospect Lefferts

Lawyer for man who allegedly dismembered wife says her death was ‘totally accidental’

July 10, 2017 By Paul Frangipane Special to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Phillip Martin’s late wife, Diana Rodriguez. Photo courtesy of the New York City Police Department.
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The lawyer for a Prospect-Lefferts Gardens man who allegedly killed his wife on his birthday and waited a week before dismembering her, said Monday that it was all in self-defense.

Diana Rodriguez, 43, went missing in February, sparking a search led by her relatives.

Rodriguez’s husband, Phillip Martin, told her relatives that she left him and then he gave differing accounts of her whereabouts, according to a statement by the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office.

The relatives eventually called 911 and reported Rodriguez missing.

On Feb. 16, Martin was arrested and made a statement to detectives that he killed his wife around his birthday nearly a month before and kept the body in his living room before cutting it up and discarding it.

“Her death was totally accidental,” defense lawyer, David Walensky told the Brooklyn Eagle. “There was no intent to kill anybody.”

Walensky told Judge Matthew D’Emic in Brooklyn Supreme Court that Rodriguez had a history of mental illness and once stabbed Martin in the hand.

But D’Emic told Walensky that he found little relevance in Rodriguez’s psychiatric records.

“I don’t want to make this about the deceased,” D’Emic said.

Walensky said he is prepared to go to trial and hopes to show a jury that Martin was acting in self-defense, saying Rodriguez was beating Martin on the day of her death and Martin punched her in the throat once, killing her.

Martin allegedly dismembered his wife with a saw before he removed the remains with a laundry cart and trash bags, dumping them in trash cans on the street.

Rodriguez’s body parts are yet to be found.

When asked why Martin waited a week to dismember Rodriguez, Walensky told the Eagle that Martin “was in terrible remorse and depression.”

Martin was charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter and concealment of a human corpse.

He could face up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted, according to a DA statement.

Martin is being held in custody without bail and his next court appearance is scheduled for July 28.


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