Testimony underway in trial for man suspected of killing estranged wife’s lover

Witness testimony is underway in a trial for Joe Anthony Sanchez, who is suspected of fatally stabbing a man he found in his estranged wife’s bed in August 2007.

Lawyer’s opening remarks and testimony from initial witnesses kicked off the trial Monday before Judge Arthur Harrison in San Bernardino Superior Court.

Sanchez, 29, faces charges in the death of 28-year-old Jose Alonso Madrigal and the attempted murder of his wife, Charity Sanchez, when he encountered the pair in August 2007 at the San Bernardino home the married couple had shared.


Joe Sanchez faces up to life in state prison, if he is convicted on charges of murder, attempted murder and a special allegation for using a knife.

Charity Sanchez allowed Joe Sanchez into the home to use the bathroom during an early morning visit, but he then detoured to the bedroom and found Madrigal, according to court testimony at a preliminary hearing.

San Bernardino detectives say Joe Sanchez got a large hunting knife from a dresser and attacked Madrigal. Then the defendant reportedly chased his wife into the street for several blocks, throwing the knife at her — and missing — three times.

Charity Sanchez, who was reportedly married to Joe Sanchez for seven years, told police she had a romantic relationship with Madrigal, detectives testified earlier.

The defense previously argued “heat of passion” to explain Joe Sanchez’ actions and claimed Charity Sanchez gave Madrigal the knife, who lost it in a struggle with Joe Sanchez.

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