Man sentenced to 11 years for 2005 killing of girlfriend in South Bay

CHULA VISTA — A man who strangled his girlfriend in her National City home and fled to Mexico, where he remained a fugitive for more than seven years, was sentenced Wednesday to 11 years in state prison.

Victor Hugo Sanchez, 53, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the death of 36-year-old Agapita Gonzalez. The victim’s family found her body in her apartment on East 16th Street west of Highland Avenue on Oct. 24, 2005. They hadn’t been able to reach her for two days.

Soon after the body was discovered, investigators learned that Sanchez had fled to Mexico, and an arrest warrant was issued.

He was  initially charged with murder, but a jury in February was unable to reach a consensus and a mistrial was declared. Before a second trial could get underway, Sanchez pleaded guilty to the manslaughter count.

According to evidence presented at his trial, the defendant left a note on the kitchen table in Spanish, with words to the effect that his girlfriend was getting back together with her husband and Sanchez didn’t want to go back to prison.

On March 1, 2013, Mexican authorities notified their American counterparts that Sanchez had been detained in Cozumel, off the Yucatan Peninsula. He was brought back to San Diego the following day.

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