Second man accused in April 2012 double murder appears in court
BY JAMES D. WOLF JR. Post-Tribune correspondent October 15, 2013 2:10PM
Updated: November 17, 2013 6:24AM
VALPARAISO — The second man accused in the April 2012 double murder outside Valparaiso has a trial set for March 3.
Alejandro Santino Sanchez, 21, Hammond, had his initial hearing Tuesday. He faces 45 to 65 years in prison on each of two murder charges.
Another man previously charged with the murders, Julius Jovan Garza, 20, Hammond, still has trial set for the week of Nov. 4.
Court records state a witness saw both men enter the house at 1558 W. Lincolnway and kill Jeffrey Trinka, 40, and Jennifer Guinn, 31.
The witness said she and Sanchez were at her house when Garza picked them up along with her brother, and they drove to Trinka’s home intending to rob him of marijuana.
According to court documents, the witness saw Sanchez and Garza remove an AK-47 from the back of the vehicle and shoot through the front door, killing Trinka.
After the two went inside, Sanchez returned to the vehicle and told the other two they had to get out because two people were dead.
Before Guinn was shot with a .25-caliber pistol, she called 911 on a cellular phone.
When officers arrived, they found Garza sitting in a green Lincoln Navigator, and he told them two people inside were shot.
He said that he was partying with the two and hid in a bedroom when someone knocked, although police heard no other voices when Guinn called 911 and she didn’t appear to talk to anyone else.
Police also found a marijuana-growing operation through the house.
Police formally arrested Garza, who identified himself as a member of the Chicago-based Two Six gang, on April 10, 2012.
Police arrested Sanchez Friday.
During Sanchez’s Tuesday hearing, he seemed confused, telling Porter County Superior Judge Mary Harper: “I was supposed to be a witness. I don’t know why they locked me up.”
Sanchez frequently asked for clarifications when Harper informed him of his rights and of court proceedings and said he only went up to ninth grade in education.
“I don’t really know how to read. I was in special ed,” he said.
He was also supposed to start GED classes and a drug store stocker job Monday, he said.
Harper granted him a public defender and set his next court date for Dec. 12.