A man serving a life sentence for the murder and rape of his 5-year-old cousin was found guilty of the capital murder of another man this week.
On Tuesday, 23-year-old Angel Lisandro Sanches-Zenteno was found guilty of killing 55-year-old Martin Ontiveros on July 26, 2014, two months before the death of 5-year-old Kathrine Alejandra Gonzalez. The girl was found by Dallas police officers inside a vacant apartment, hanging in a closet by a shirt around her neck.
According to our partners at The Dallas Morning News, Sanches-Zenteno was arrested and confessed to the girl's rape and murder in 2015. After investigators linked his DNA to the crime he took a plea deal for a capital murder conviction and life in prison for her death.
In a three-page letter, Sanches-Zentero admitted to the murder of Ontiveros and went into detail about how he used a metal rod to commit the crime. Sanches-Zentero also admitted being responsible for other murders in the Dallas area in 2014.
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In court, Sanches-Zenteno said he needed to clear his conscience because Ontiveros has appeared to him in dreams and hallucinations asking for his family to know the truth. The Dallas Morning News reported Sanches-Zenteno said he hoped that with this confession Ontiveros will, “go away and leave me in peace.”
According to the paper, Sanches-Zenteno said in court that Ontiveros was gay and invited him to his apartment where they did drugs and drank alcohol. Ontiveros then asked Sanches-Zenteno to perform a sexual act, which led to Sanches-Zenteno getting angry and beating Ontiveros with a metal rod until he died.
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Even though he confessed in a letter, Sanches-Zenteno pleaded not guilty to Ontiveros' murder in court. His defense lawyer, Kenneth Weatherspoon, attempted to discredit the confession and police investigation saying that his clients’ stories are inconsistent and cited a lack of physical evidence, including no fingerprints or DNA samples, linking Sanches-Zenteno to Ontiveros' death.
Weatherspoon filed a motion for a new trial for his client but that motion was overruled.
Sanches-Zenteno will be serving life in prison and won’t be eligible for parole until Aug. 31, 2058.
Though in his letter he claimed to have killed other people in 2014, officials have not named Sanches-Zenteno a suspect in any other deaths.