VISTA, Calif. – A young Escondido man who killed a friend after challenging the victim to a fight, then posted sounds of the victim crying during the attack to Snapchat was sentenced Wednesday to 25 years in prison.
Salvador Alejandro Sanchez, 20, was convicted of murdering 20-year-old Maithem Alfuraiji in April 2017. A judge sentenced Sanchez to 25 years to life in prison.
Alfuraiji's mother Brenda West gave an emotional statement Wednesday about the impact of her son's death.
"I feel like a knife has stabbed my heart," West said. "I lay every day in bed and cry for my son because I will not see him again."
Escondido police Detective Greg Gay said friends of the two men were alarmed by messages posted on the defendant's Snapchat account, in which Sanchez can be heard telling the victim "tell them what you did."
Police said Sanchez lured Alfuraiji to Mountain View Park and later challenged the victim to a "fight to the death."
Sanchez told police that he targeted the victim because Alfuraiji was "making decisions and meeting with people" that put everyone they knew in danger.
Friends eventually called police about what they saw on Snapchat and Sanchez led them to Alfuraiji's body on the Rincon Indian Reservation in Valley Center.