Sacramento father sentenced to death in 2017 quadruple slaughter that haunted capital region

A Sacramento Superior Court judge on Thursday formally handed down a death sentence to a murderer who bludgeoned to death his wife and two children, and stabbed his niece until she died, during a grisly incident nearly seven years ago in South Land Park.

Judge Michael Sweet sentenced Salvador Vasquez-Oliva to death Thursday, the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

A Sacramento County jury in May elected to deliver the death verdict for Vasquez-Oliva, 62, after he was convicted of four counts of first-degree murder, with allegations of personal use of a deadly weapon and the special circumstance of multiple murders.

Vasquez-Oliva repeatedly bludgeoned his wife, 45-year-old Angelique Vasquez, as well as their 14-year-old daughter Mia Vasquez and 11-year-old son Alvin Vasquez, in 2017. He also killed his niece Ashley Coleman, 21, at their family home in the 1100 block of 35th Avenue.

The children were found in the garage with their bodies tied and heads in a plastic wrap, principal criminal attorney Jeff Hightower has said.

The horrific scene in a quiet residential neighborhood rattled the capital region, as neighbors grappled with the gruesome slayings. The family was described by many as kind, generous and outgoing, according to The Sacramento Bee’s previous reporting.

Mia played as goalkeeper for Sam Brannan Middle School’s soccer team and was a talented violinist. Alvin enjoyed playing basketball and attended John Cabrillo Elementary School, according to The Bee’s previous reporting.

In 2019, Gov. Gavin Newsom enacted a moratorium on state executions. The last such killing happened in 2006 by a lethal injection, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Vasquez-Oliva will spend his remaining years on death row.