Man gets life for murdering mother of four

A Suffolk Superior Court jury yesterday convicted Jose Torres, 26, for the strangulation and slashing death of Melissa Santiago in her 689 Washington St. apartment in March, 2008.

The sentence carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole.

Suffolk County prosecutors convinced the jury that Torres Torres strangled Santiago with an electrical cord, slashed her throat while she lay on her kitchen floor, leaving her body to be discovered the next morning by her children, the oldest of whom was 6.

Maria Dickerson, a family friend who has taken legal custody of the victim’s children, addressed the court prior to sentencing, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney's office: "Jose, you have caused them the worst pain they will ever know – the death of their mother."

Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley said, "It's incomprehensible to me that any person, no matter how evil, would commit that crime on a mother and leave it to be discovered by her children."