Elias Sanchez will serve at least 18 years of the life sentence he was issued for his role in the murder of a South Boston man three years ago, the Boston Globe reported Oct. 28. Sanchez’s brother, Gabriel Sanchez and his 19-year-old son Angel Sanchez, who were also on trial for the murder of Edwin Santos Jr., were acquitted of their charges.
A jury found Elias Sanchez, 46, guilty of the murder of 29-year-old Santos, who was beaten and stabbed outside of Bell’s Market in Boston on Nov. 17, 2013. After giving Elias Sanchez a life sentence, a judge ordered him to serve at least 18 years before he’d be up for parole. During the sentencing, the judge said state law normally requires an inmate to serve at least 15 years in prison for a life sentence before they could become eligible for parole. However, Elias Sanchez’s four prior convictions between 1988 and 1991 led the judge to sentence him to serve 18 years in prison before he could seek parole.
Elias Sanchez’s attorney requested to overturn the jury’s verdict based on the argument that Sanchez's son, who was 16 at the time of the murder, was the one who “struck the blow” resulting in Santos’ death, according to court documents obtained by the Boston Globe. However, the judge denied the request.
An earlier altercation between Elias Sanchez and Santos, who were neighbors, is what authorities say may have led to Santos’ death. The men were reportedly involved in a heated argument the day before Santos was killed, Jake Wark, a Suffolk district attorney’s office spokesperson told local reporters.
Elias Sanchez's son reportedly got involved in the men’s altercation because he believed Elias Sanchez was “in danger of serious bodily harm.” Gabriel Sanchez, 35, jumped in after he spotted the men fighting. During the trial, Gabriel Sanchez said he was initially trying to break Elias Sanchez and Santos up, but he admitted to punching Santos four times during the process.