A Nassau judge on Monday sentenced a former New York City corrections captain to 22 years in prison for shooting his wife in the face, saying the Roosevelt man betrayed his spouse as well as his oath to protect and serve the public.
A jury in May convicted Brian Martin, 38, of charges including attempted murder, assault and criminal use of a firearm after the 2013 shooting in his family’s home that prosecutors said left his wife needing facial reconstruction with metal plates.
Janine Howard, who is divorcing Martin, spoke inside a Mineola courtroom Monday about the excruciating pain she suffered during a recovery that included four surgeries after the shooting shattered her jaw bone and an eye socket, while also blowing out many of her teeth.
“The most humiliating part is the dentures I have to wear,” Howard, 41, told Acting State Supreme Court Justice William O’Brien, before asking for the maximum sentence — 25 years — for Martin.
Howard, who at the time had been a city corrections officer, said Martin’s attempt on her life broke “a vow as a husband to love and protect his family,” and that he has showed no remorse.
Assistant District Attorney Amanda Burke called the shooting a brutal crime that took a physical and emotional toll on Martin’s wife, saying that despite a remarkable turnaround, the woman will bear scars for the rest of her life.
“No matter what sentence you give Brian Martin, that will never go away,” Burke said, adding that the victim also lost her job as a result of being out on extended medical leave.
Prosecutors have said the Dec. 21, 2013, shooting happened after a struggle following an argument during which Howard told Martin that she wanted a divorce after what authorities said was a yearlong marriage marked by domestic abuse.
Martin shot his wife while standing over her as she was on the ground and trying to get up, according to the Nassau district attorney’s office. Both husband and wife had worked at Rikers Island before the shooting.
Martin’s attorney, Dana Grossblatt of Jericho, has said her client maintains that the shooting was a tragic accident. On Monday, she reiterated her client’s plan to file an appeal.
Grossblatt also asked the judge to consider sentencing her client to less than the maximum “so he would have an opportunity to spend some time with his children,” and later also appealed for Martin to be held in protective custody.
The judge said he had “thought long and hard” about the case, and while it wasn’t in his power to restore Howard’s life to the way it had been, he also took Martin’s public service into account while deciding his punishment.
Martin, a Coast Guard veteran, was fired from his job after the guilty verdict, his attorney said.
Martin spoke briefly in court, apologizing to Howard “for being an unfaithful husband,” and to his family for putting them through “this ordeal.”
The judge also signed a protective order that lasts until 2043 and forbids Martin from contacting his wife, whom authorities said he called repeatedly from jail.
Howard raised a fist in victory after hearing Martin’s sentence and later strode out of court smiling.