DATE:   October 17, 2019

CASE:   Lucas Sanchez (Case #17FE016812)

PROSECUTOR:   Deputy District Attorney Allison Dunham, Homicide Unit

On October 4, 2019, Lucas Sanchez was convicted by a jury of the first-degree murder of Jennifer Rutter.  The jury also found that Sanchez personally used a deadly or dangerous weapon in the commission of the murder.  Sanchez entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. On October 16, 2019, the jury found Sanchez was legally sane when he committed the murder.

Sanchez and the victim were in a relationship.  On the morning of September 11, 2017, Sanchez and the victim were sleeping at a local hotel.  Sanchez woke up paranoid and delusional from using methamphetamine. He took a closet rod out of the closet and beat the victim in the head as she slept.  The victim fled out of the hotel room naked and bleeding.  Sanchez proceeded to beat her in the head with the closet rod in the hotel hallway.  A public safety conference was taking place at the hotel that morning.  Law enforcement officers arrested Sanchez on the scene.  An autopsy determined the victim died from seven to 10 blunt force blows to her head causing multiple facial and skull fractures.

Sanchez faces a maximum sentence of 26 years to life in prison.  Sentencing is set for November 14, 2019, in Department 20 before the Honorable Michael Sweet.