Santa Cruz County

Watsonville man sentenced to 15 years in prison for Christmas Day attack on wife

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - A 38-year-old Watsonville man is headed to prison for 15 years for attacking his wife on Christmas Day.

Under an agreement with Santa Cruz County prosecutors, Carlos Rolando Sanchez pleaded to charges of attempted murder, inflicting great bodily injury upon his wife and the use of a knife.

Sanchez and his wife got into an argument over their then-3-year-old son while in the child's room in the early morning hours of Dec. 25, 2012, prosecutors said. Then Sanchez grabbed his wife by her hair, pulled her to the ground and held a knife to her throat. He then placed her in a choke hold and strangled her until she lost consciousness while his son yelled at him to stop.

Evidence at the scene, including blood on the kitchen floor and a clump of the wife's hair, indicated Sanchez dragged her to the kitchen while she was unconscious. He stabbed her in the left chest with such force that he punctured her lung, according to prosecutors.

When the wife regained consciousness, she ran down the street to her in-laws, telling them Sanchez had stabbed her. Sanchez, meanwhile, packed up the couple's son and 11-month-old daughter and then went to an ATM, where he withdrew $800. He then led police on a chase, finally surrendering at Freedom Boulevard and Soquel Avenue. The 3-year-old son told police at the scene that he saw "daddy try to kill mommy."

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