Photo by Michael Förtsch via Unsplash

The perpetrator of a 2-year-old San Diego murder case has finally admitted guilt.

On June 17, 57-year-old Norberto Sanchez admitted to personally handling and firing the firearm that killed his stepmother, 65-year-old Maria Esther Gonzalez. Gonzalez was gunned down in her house on the 1100 block of Oasis Avenue near East Naples Street on March 2, 2019. 

According to the Chula Vista Police Department, Sanchez’ niece called 911 just after 1:30 p.m. on the day of the murder. She reported that her uncle had called her moments before and admitted he shot his father’s wife and was now on his way to her house on Arizona Street.

During the call, a man presumed to be Sanchez got on the line and talked about taking the life of a family member at a home on Oasis Avenue near East Naples Street. 

Officers were dispatched to both residences. Sanchez was apprehended without incident at the Arizona Street residence on a murder charge. About 2.5 miles away, at the Oasis Avenue residence, officers found Gonzalez suffering from gunshot wounds and injuries to her head. After paramedics were unable to revive her, she was pronounced dead at the scene. 

According to Bree Garcia, deputy district attorney, “The defendant and his stepmother got into an argument. During the argument, he grabbed a TV tray and he swung it at her, hitting her in the head multiple times.”

After severely beating her, Sanchez shot Gonzalez four times.

At his initial court arraignment on March 6, 2019, Sanchez pleaded not guilty to the murder charges, despite having already admitted his guilt to his niece. He was held on a $2 million dollar bail.

The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office told Scriberr in an email, “Sanchez pled to PC187 – Second Degree Murder + PC12033.53(d) – Personal Use of a Firearm causing great bodily injury or death. Sentencing Hearing is set for 9/10 at 1:30 in Department 14 in South Bay.  Judge Popkins was the judge for the hearing and will be the judge for the sentencing. The sentence is stipulated: 40 years-to-life in state prison.”

Sanchez will be sentenced on Sept. 10 at the South Bay Courthouse in Chula Vista. He is expected to serve a 40-to-life prison sentence for second-degree murder.

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