EX-BOYFRIEND SENTENCED TO 56 YEARS TO LIFE FOR MURDERING WIDOWED MOTHER OF THREE AFTER STALKING HER FOR REFUSING TO GET BACK TOGETHER WITH HIM

OCDASeal

Orange County District Attorney
Press Release


Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701

For Immediate Release
Case # 07WF2235

 


 

May 8, 2009

Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
Office: 714-347-8408
Cell: 714-292-2718

Farrah Emami
Spokesperson
Office: 714-347-8405
Cell: 714-323-4486

EX-BOYFRIEND SENTENCED TO 56 YEARS TO LIFE FOR MURDERING WIDOWED MOTHER OF THREE AFTER STALKING HER FOR REFUSING TO GET BACK TOGETHER WITH HIM

 

FULLERTON – A controlling ex-boyfriend was sentenced today to 56 years to life in state prison for stabbing and murdering a widowed mother of three after stalking her when she refused to restart their relationship. Fidel Cortez Sanchez, 45, Anaheim, was convicted by a jury on Feb. 17, 2009, of one felony count of murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon. He has a prior strike conviction for criminal threats in 2004.

 

Sanchez met Silvia Picazo at church and began a dating relationship with the victim. Picazo, a mother of three, was widowed after the death of her husband due to cancer three years earlier. After several months of dating, Picazo ended the relationship. Sanchez, who had been controlling and possessive, began stalking the victim and following her when she was out with her children, ages 5 to 12, and her friends.

 

Approximately one week prior to the murder, Sanchez called the victim. Picazo’s oldest son, 12, picked up and heard the defendant threaten to kill the victim and her children if she did not get back together with him.

 

On the night of Sept. 14, 2007, Picazo put her three children to bed and went into her room. Sanchez entered the victim’s Garden Grove home, took a butcher knife from the kitchen, and stabbed the victim three times in the chest and back as she screamed for help. The defendant left Picazo’s murdered body in her bedroom and locked the door behind him as he left.

 

An elderly couple, who was renting a room in the home with Picazo, heard her screaming. The couple and the victim’s children found Picazo murdered on the floor near the bed.

 

During trial, a former girlfriend of the defendant testified that during her relationship with Sanchez he had been controlling and jealous. The defendant threatened the victim on more than one occasion, including showing up at her work and threatening to kill her. Sanchez was convicted in 2004 of a strike for criminal threats in that case.

 

At the sentencing today, the victim’s brother gave an impact statement to the court stating that Sanchez not only took a beautiful person from the world, but left three vulnerable, young children, who had already endured the loss of their father to cancer, orphaned because of their mother’s murder.  Picazo’s three children are now living with relatives.

 

Senior Deputy District Attorney Mike Murray of the Homicide Unit prosecuted this case.

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