Readers: Here’s another example of getting an early glimpse of tomorrow’s story today. This sneak preview is about the verdicts announced in the trial for Joe Anthony Sanchez in San Bernardino.
By Mike Cruz
SAN BERNARDINO — A Rialto man was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter in the deadly stabbing of a man he found in his estranged wife’s bed.
The jury determined Joe Anthony Sanchez was not guilty of a greater charge of murder in last year’s death of 28-year-old Jose Alonso Madrigal, who was stabbed in the neck while the pair reportedly wrestled with large knife.
Sanchez was also cleared of any charges in connection with his wife and key witness, Charity Sanchez, when the jury declared him not guilty of attempted murder charges related to her.
The verdicts were announced Wednesday in San Bernardino Superior Court.
“That tells me they didn’t believe her,” Deputy Public Defender Jeffrey Lawrence said of Charity Sanchez’s testimony, in a courthouse hallway after the verdicts were announced.
Sanchez, 29, found the pair inside the married couple’s San Bernardino home during an early morning visit in August 2007.
Charity Sanchez allowed her husband into the home to use the bathroom. But he detoured to a darkened bedroom and found Madrigal in the bed.
Charity Sanchez told police she had a romantic relationship with Madrigal. However, the couple are still married today, the defense lawyer confirmed.
“The facts of the case were difficult,” said Alex Martinez, deputy district attorney. “I understand and respect the jury’s decision.”
The defense plans to appeal the verdict, based on unfair evidentiary rulings that kept evidence out of the trial, Lawrence said.
For example, evidence that cocaine was found in the victim’s system and evidence of Charity Sanchez’s violent past were not allowed at trial.
The defense also said it learned a week before trial that a sex diary, or journal, kept by the wife was found at the scene.