A Tri-Cities woman was allegedly kidnapped at gunpoint by her ex-boyfriend, had her hands broken and face branded.
Then prosecutors say the accused abuser sent an “enforcer” to keep her from testifying.
Guadalupe Angelita Sanchez, 32, has a long history of being an enforcer for people who want to silence witnesses, Chief Deputy Prosecutor Julie Long said.
“The defendant is a bully,” Long told Judge Joe Burrowes during Sanchez’s sentencing last week. “She is enlisted by people involved with serious crimes to intimidate witnesses.”
Sanchez pleaded guilty to witness tampering earlier this week, after she threatened to kill the woman Ramon Jaimes-Galvez’s allegedly kidnapped at gunpoint, terrorized and beat, according to court documents.
When she went to police, he allegedly enlisted Sanchez to make sure she didn’t testify against him.
Sanchez trapped the victim in an apartment, told her that she needed to recant her statement, and threatened to shoot her, according to court documents.
Sanchez’s criminal history played a role in the sentencing decision handed down by Burrowes.
Along with previous assault and death threat convictions, Sanchez also helped hide a West Richland woman’s body in 2018, according to court documents.
Sanchez’s defense attorney Brian Hultgrenn said he didn’t feel it was right to call his client names, when referring to her as a bully during the sentencing, and he didn’t believe the woman at the center of the prosecution’s case is a reliable witness.
“Ms. Sanchez knows what she did is wrong,” he said.
Sanchez did not speak at the sentencing.
The sentencing range only spanned between a year and five months and a year and 10 months in prison.
Both sides agreed on a prison sentence in the middle of the range — a year and eight months.
Burrowes called the details of the case “disturbing,” and was concerned about whether the length of the sentence was enough.
“I could sentence her to the maximum amount set by the sentencing range, but I’m not certain that two more months would do any good,” he said.
The case started with an alleged July 2022 attack on a woman in Kennewick. She claimed that Jaimes-Galvez kidnapped her at gun point.
During the kidnapping, he allegedly punched her in the face, hit both of her hands with a metal pipe, heated up a metal clothes hanger and used it to brand her, and tried to shave her head.
She also accused him of putting a gun to her head, pulling the trigger three times before telling her that she was lucky each time the gun didn’t fire.
Before releasing her, he allegedly stole a bracelet.
She ended up at Trios Southridge Hospital being treated for two broken hands, burns on her face and neck and numerous contusions.
Police allegedly found the woman’s bracelet, a blow torch and hair clippers at Jaimes-Galvez’s home.
He was arrested the following day and is currently in the Benton County jail facing charges of kidnapping, assault and witness tampering.
After his arrest, he allegedly called several people to ask them to find the victim and get her to rescind her statement. He reached Sanchez in August 2022.
He told her that the victim could put him in prison for 30 years and that charges would go away if she wasn’t cooperative.
Sanchez responded by saying “I got you,” and “I will do what I gotta do,” according to court documents.
The victim told police she went to a Fourth Avenue apartment in Kennewick. When she went inside, she found herself with Sanchez, who started laughing and stated “the person I have been wanting to see.”
Sanchez made the woman strip “to make sure she was not wearing a body wire,” and then told the victim she was going to record her recanting her statement against Jaimes-Galvez.
She repeatedly hit the woman’s healing hands and told her that it would hurt less than “a bullet to the head.” As she made the threats, Sanchez had a gun in her hand.
According to court documents, Sanchez finally let the other woman go after she gave a taped statement recanting her story against Jaimes-Galvez.
Hiding a body
Among her other convictions, Sanchez helped move Michelle Hudnall’s body to an embankment where it was rolled into the Columbia River in 2018.
Hudnall’s body was allegedly found in the river near Carbody Beach about two months after she went missing.
Sanchez, along with her boyfriend Benny Rodriguez Lozano Jr., both pleaded guilty to playing a role in the death.
Sanchez pleaded guilty to first-degree rendering criminal assistance, and was sentenced to a year and three months in prison. Lozano pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter was was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Both were initially charged with second-degree murder.
A third man, Florentino Jai Castillo, 44, remains charged with second-degree murder in connection with the death. He is scheduled to go to trial on Dec. 13.