Heather Songer, Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office
TACOMA, WA – Today Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged Refugio Sanchez Jr, 32, with Murder in the Second Degree for beating his girlfriend, Angela Cannizzio, and strangling her to death in their Lakewood home.
On the evening of November 12, 2013, the defendant consumed a six-pack of Bud Light and a “shot of Bacardi” after returning home from work at Joint Base Lewis McChord. The defendant and the victim began arguing about the victim’s estranged husband, who lives in Connecticut. The defendant became angry and struck the victim twice with an upright vacuum, including one blow to the back of her head. He then dragged her limp body down the stairs by her legs. The defendant said the victim appeared to be unconscious and that “she was like a rag doll.” At the bottom of the stairs, he slammed the victim’s face into the floor and strangled her to death.
After being booked into jail, the defendant was anxious to take a shower, saying, “I can’t wait to get this out from under my fingernails.”
The medical examiner determined the cause of death to be strangulation and blunt force trauma to the head. The victim suffered multiple injuries including a lacerated liver, broken rib and fractured hyoid. She leaves behind two children, ages 2 and 13.
The defendant was arraigned today and bail was set at $1 million. Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.