Man sentenced to 50 years in prison on murder conviction

Prison Jail Generic Cell

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut man who was convicted of shooting and killing a man during an argument over drug sales has been sentenced to 50 years in a case that was cold for more than a decade.

Police said Benjamin Baez was shot in the chest after an altercation with 41-year-old Rafael Ortiz in June 2003. Both are from Hartford.

A jury found Ortiz guilty of murder in February. He was sentenced Friday.

Authorities say Baez asked to sell drugs for Ortiz, and Ortiz refused. Baez then threatened to rob Ortiz before Ortiz got a gun from his car and shot Baez.

Prosecutors said Ortiz was a major drug dealer and a gang leader.

The Hartford Courant reports that Ortiz’s lawyer disputes that Ortiz was ever a part of a street gang.

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