EXCLUSIVE: A Rutherford man who authorities said beat the Wallington father of a former friend so badly that he needed brain surgery is set to go to trial for attempted murder in October, along with a roommate who they said tried to cover for him.
Julio Pina-Catena, 41, has been held in the Bergen County Jail since being arrested in June 2011 for attacking the victim, 56-year-old Nelson Martin, whose family he once lived with in Hudson County. Pina-Catena’s original $1 million bail was later reduced to $750,000.
His roommate, Kenny Cabrera ( above, right ), posted bail and was released a little over a week later.
Pina-Catena ( above, left ) had broken in and was trashing the place on May 4, 2011 when the elder Martin came home and was attacked, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said at the time.
Authorities later said he also destroyed data on the victim’s computer network.
“Pina-Catena then fled the residence, leaving Nelson Martin severely injured to call for help,” the prosecutor said.
His son, Adrian, found Martin and called police.
Martin was “drifting in and out of consciousness” and had suffered “facial fractures around his left eye and a fracture of his C-6 vertebra, which resulted in a restriction of movement to his left arm,” Molinelli said.
“Due to the severity of [Martin’s] head trauma, he immediately underwent surgery to his skull to relieve excessive intracranial pressure due to the attack,” the prosecutor said.
Detectives immediately homed on Adrian Martin’s acquaintances — Pina-Catena, in particular, who was once a close friend and lived with the Martin family, Molinelli said.
Pina-Catena, who is single and unemployed, is also charged with two counts of illegal weapons possession, two counts of hindering prosecution, burglary and criminal mischief.
Cabrera is charged with giving false information to police.
MUGSHOTS: Courtesy BERGEN COUNTY PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE