Valdez-Cruz sentenced to life without parole in Bird murder

The man convicted of torturing and killing New Cassel mother Joanna Bird was sentenced to life in prison without parole yesterday.

In April, a jury found Leonardo Valdez-Cruz guilty of stabbing Bird, his ex-girlfriend, to death.

Bird had an order of protection against Valdez-Cruz at the time of her murder last year.

In court, Valdez-Cruz said he was not a killer and did not apologize for his actions. He did, however, say he was very sorry that Bird had died and gave his condolences to her family.

Though the criminal case is over, Bird's family has filed a multimillion-dollar wrongful death civil lawsuit against the Nassau County Police Department for allegedly failing to protect Bird.

Related Stories:Valdez-Cruz found guilty in Joanna Bird murderJury takes up case of Joanna Bird murderValdez-Cruz trial could soon head to juryProsecution rests case in Valdez-Cruz trial

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."