TACOMA, WA – Today Refugio Sanchez Jr., 33, was sentenced to 18 years in prison for beating his girlfriend, Angela Cannizzio, and strangling her to death in their Lakewood home. In March, Sanchez pleaded guilty to murder in the second degree.
“Angela Cannizzio will be missed by her family and many friends,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “Deputy Prosecutors Pat Cooper and Jennifer Sievers worked hard for justice on this case.”
The courtroom was filled with emotional friends and family members, including Cannizzio’s mother and brother, who addressed the Court. They described Cannizzio as a beautiful, loving and caring woman who will never be forgotten.
On the evening of Nov. 12, 2013, Sanchez consumed a six-pack of Bud Light and a “shot of Bacardi” after returning home from work at Joint Base Lewis McChord. He and Cannizzio began arguing about her estranged husband, who lives in Connecticut. Sanchez became angry and struck Cannizzio 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. Sanchez said Cannizzio appeared to be unconscious and that “she was like a rag doll.” At the bottom of the stairs, he slammed her face into the floor and strangled her to death.
After being booked into jail, Sanchez 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 was strangulation and blunt force trauma to the head. Cannizzio suffered multiple injuries including a lacerated liver, broken rib and fractured hyoid. She left behind two children.
Communications and Public Information Coordinator
Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office