Mental tests ordered for Escondido teen accused of slaying friend


Maithem Alfuraiji / Salvador Sanchez

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VISTA, Calif. – Two doctors were appointed Tuesday to evaluate a 19-year-old man who has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in the death of a close friend during an alcohol-fueled fight in Escondido, then allegedly bragged about it on the Snapchat social media app.

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

The defendant is scheduled to stand trial Feb. 20. If he’s convicted, a second phase of trial would follow to determine if he was insane at the time of the killing.

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 Escondido that afternoon.

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