Emotional testimony in love triangle murder case involving 3 co-workers

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A former correctional officer at a Tehachapi prison could soon be a prisoner himself, depending on what the jury decides in his murder trial.

Rigoberto Sanchez is accused of murdering his estranged wife’s boyfriend, then attempting to kill her. The three worked together as correctional officers at the time of the homicide, during Memorial Day weekend in 2017.

In this case, there’s no debate who pulled the trigger. The jury’s job is to decide this: Did Sanchez act in self-defense, or out of a jealous rage that turned him into a cold blooded killer?

It was Edwin Lima’s birthday. He and his girlfriend, Sandra Sanchez had just returned from a cruise in Mexico. 

They came home to her ransacked apartment turned. Her doorbell that recorded video had been pried from her wall outside. Sandra believed her estranged husband, Rigoberto Sanchez had broken in. He’d done it before, she had video to prove it.

Sandra reported her gun and lots of other items missing. The couple went on with their night, eventually turning on the television in her bedroom as Edwin Lima started installing a new doorbell. That’s when the lives of the three coworkers would forever change and the doorbell caught it all on camera.

The prosecution showed terrifying video captured by the doorbell camera of the shooting and killing. The details may be disturbing to some.

Sandra Sanchez’s blood curdling screams can be heard as she crawled out of the bedroom and called for her son to get down.

In between the defendant, Rigoberto Sanchez alleged to be reloading his gun, you can hear her yell “get the gun.”

Cameras weren’t allowed as Sandra took the stand Tuesday and testified that she doesn’t remember making that comment but says it was to Edwin Lima, who was killed  Sandra said Lima never got his gun out, never had a chance to do it. That’s the key fact in this case disputed by each side.

Prosector Gina Pearl then played the chilling 911 call where jurors heard the gut wrenching screams from Sanchez as she calls out for Edwin Lima and realizes he’s dead. Sanchez cried as she relived the harrowing moment on the stand.

From one intense moment to the next, Deputy Public Defender Paul Cadman then cross-examined the prosecution’s star witness.

Immediately, he stated Sandra, still married, but separated from Rigoberto Sanchez, was dating a married man: her coworker-the victim-Edwin Lima.

At one point Cadman asserted that Sandra Sanchez pointed Edwin Lima’s gun at Rigoberto Sanchez during the shooting. She replied: “That’s ridiculous.” His response: “I agree.”

Cadman argued Rigoberto Sanchez shot Lima because he says Lima was pointing his gun at him.  Sandra Sanchez said several times Lima was never able to get his gun out of his holster. She says she removed it from his body for her protection. 

Cross-examination of Sandra Sanchez resumes tomorrow morning. 

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