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Mom takes the stand in teen daughter's co-defendant's case

Mom takes the stand in teen daughter's co-defendant's case

  • Updated

Sara Sanchez, who lost her husband last year in a brutal attack, spent most of Wednesday on the stand in the trial of Larry "Ray" Coronado.

According to prosecutors, Coronado, 20, killed Andres Sanchez because Sara and Andres' daughter, Clarissa, then 16, asked him to. The Sanchezes had told the couple they were no longer allowed to date because they believed it was an unhealthy relationship.

The UA journalism students watching the trial Wednesday probably found Sara Sanchez interesting to watch just because of her role as the widow of the victim. What they might not know, however, is Sara Sanchez is a staunch supporter of her daughter, who is also charged in the case.

In fact, earlier this year, Clarissa Sanchez's attorneys told now retired Judge Edgar Acuña Sara Sanchez wanted her daughter back home during a bail reduction hearing. (The bail was reduced, but no one has been able to come up with the $75,000 needed to get her out of jail.)

Before Sara Sanchez took the stand Wednesday, she sat on what is typically the defense side of the courtroom. Andres Sanchez's family sat on the prosecutors' side.

At the bail reduction hearing, Andres Sanchez's mother, Rosa Zamora, said she wouldn't feel safe if her granddaughter was released from jail. She pointed out her granddaughter was living under the supervision of her daughter-in-law when the slaying occurred.

Here are some extra tidbits from Sara Sanchez's testimony:

* Andres Sanchez died two weeks before the couple's 18th wedding anniversary.

*The couple has four daughters, the youngest 4 at the time of her father's death.

* Sara was a patient care technician at UMC last year. Andres had been working for the same company as a mover for 10 years.

*Andres had a bit of a drinking and drugging problem, but was working to turn himself around.

*Andres was a strict father, especially with Clarissa. (What jurors don't know is that Clarissa claimed to have been raped at a party she shouldn't have been at, Andres didn't believe her and therefore was stricter with her curfew than her older sister's.) He expected all of his girls to get straight As in school.

* Because Andres was so strict, she was surprised he gave Ray Coronado permission to date Clarissa in March 2010.

* Clarissa sometimes thought Ray called her too much. If she didn't answer her phone, he'd call Sara's phone.

* Clarissa had mixed emotions when her parents told her she couldn't date Ray anymore. She was upset at times and relieved at others.

* Despite the fact the young couple broke up, Andres often allowed Ray to come over anyway.

* Ray was sometimes irritated with Sara, but never had any words with Andres. Ray thought she shouldn't get involved in their relationship. "He said I was nosy. That it was none of my business. Why are you getting into it?" Sara quoted Ray as saying.

* After not being able to get ahold of Andres on Oct. 20, she looked for his van at work. Since it wasn't there, she called his dispatcher and learned he hadn't shown up for work.

* After verifying Andres wasn't in jail, she talked to Clarissa, who told her Andres had gone out the previous night. When she checked the master bedroom she discovered all of the bed linens were gone and some of his favorite football jerseys and shoes. Once she found out he'd supposedly left with another woman, she assumed he'd wrapped his clothes up in the linens.

* During the 11 days she thought Andres was with another woman, Clarissa couldn't sleep or eat and it looked as though she'd been crying a lot, Sara said.

* Monica moved into the master bedroom when Clarissa said she got a text from their dad saying he wasn't coming home and to throw all of his stuff away. (Sara normally slept on the couch because she had to watch her 4-year-old while Andres was working. Prior to the move, Monica slept with the littlest girls. Clarissa had her own room.)

* Ray asked if he could come over at one point to "check" on them, Sara said. She said no, but then relented. He overstayed the 10 minutes she told him he could visit. She also found him hiding in Clarissa's room twice. Once at 2 a.m. and another time at 9:30 p.m.

* During those 11 days, Sara tried to track Andres' whereabouts using the GPS on his phone.

* On Oct. 30, Clarissa and she got into a fight. She later received a text purportedly from Andres saying Clarissa could stay with him and Ray could take her to him. Clarissa then left home.

*Sara called police to report Clarissa missing the following day when she couldn't get her to come home. Ray's dad brought her to a convenience store and Sara met them there.

* Clarissa cussed her out when they got home and then went into a bedroom with her sister Monica.

* Sara inspected the master bedroom the same day. She noticed specks of blood on the walls and a smelly mattress.

* A short-time after the girls went into the bedroom, a scared looking Monica came out and asked her if they could talk. They went for a drive and it was then Monica told her something that caused her to call 911, Sara said.

*Ray and Clarissa were then arrested and charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.

Monica Sanchez testified she went to bed at 130 a.m. Oct. 20 and never heard a thing. 

Because of hearsay rules, Monica couldn't tell jurors what Clarissa told her Oct. 31. All she could say was that because of that conversation she came to believe her father was dead.

The lead detective on the case, Kathleen Kelly, and the medical examiner are expected to take the stand today.







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