2 convicted of kidnapping, murdering Rochester man sentenced to 40 years to life

[anvplayer video=”5103774″ station=”998131″]

ROCHESTER N.Y. (WHEC) — A judge sentenced both people convicted of robbing, kidnapping and murdering a Rochester man back in 2019 to 40 years to life in state prison.

A New York State Supreme Court judge sentenced 44-year-old David Gardner and 30-year-old Kimberly Jones on Wednesday. Both were convicted on March 24.

Samuel Ortiz’s body was found decomposing in a garage in Rochester four days after his family reported him missing on July 7, 2019. An investigation led by the Rochester Police Department concluded that Gardner and Jones kidnapped and murdered Ortiz, then traveled to Florida with his stolen car. Florida authorities found his car lit on fire two days after the murder.

Both Gardner and Jones were on parole with the New York State Department of Corrections at the time of the murder. Both were arrested for parole absconding, in separate states, and extradited to New York State for the murder. Jones was arrested in Florida in July 2019 and Gardner was arrested in North Carolina two months later.

“This is the only appropriate sentence for the brutal kidnapping, robbery and murder of Samuel Ortiz," said Assistant District Attorney Perry Duckles. "It brings an end to this horrific crime that took place nearly three years ago. The Rochester Police Department conducted a complex investigation that took place in multiple states with many agencies."

Jones was on parole for an arson conviction from 2013 at the time of Ortiz’s murder. Police say she had cut off her parole bracelet. Gardner’s parole was for a manslaughter conviction for a deadly 1997 shooting.