Man accused of killing friend, bragging on Snapchat pleads not guilty

VISTA, Calif. — A not guilty by reason of insanity plea was entered Monday on behalf of a 19-year-old man accused of killing a close friend during an alcohol-fueled fight, then dumping the victim’s body in Valley Center and bragging about his actions on the Snapchat social media app.

Salvador Alejandro Sanchez of Escondido is charged with murder in the April 27 death of 20-year-old Maithem Alfuraiji.

Investigators who testified during the defendant’s preliminary hearing in May alleged that Sanchez lived by the loyalty creed of “ride or die” from the movie series “Fast and Furious” and on April 27 challenged Alfuraiji to a fight to the death and killed him.

Police allege Sanchez “dumped the victim’s body and buried it in tall grass” in an area off East Paradise Creek Lane in Valley Center.

On April 29, friends of the victim saw Snapchat posts from the suspect alluding to a possible homicide and alerted the San Diego County Sheriff’s department, which in turn notified the Escondido Police Department.

Alfuraiji’s body was discovered the next day and Sanchez was taken into custody in the vicinity of Ash Street and Grand Avenue in Escondido that afternoon.

Sanchez will be back in court Oct. 10 for a status conference.