In the days and weeks following the slaying of Cheyenne Watkins in Tehachapi, investigators received numerous tips identifying the same person as her likely killer, recently redacted court documents say.
That person, Alejandro Andres Sanchez, 35, had been involved in an on-again, off-again relationship with the 23-year-old Watkins, a relationship the family described as volatile.
Sanchez has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the June 1 killing of Watkins. He's next due in court Nov. 15.
Five days after Watkins was found with a gunshot wound to the head at a residence on Kid Place, sheriff's detectives were contacted by a woman who said she and her fiance had received several messages from someone on Facebook Messenger.
The messages were from a woman who said her boyfriend, identified as "Droopy," had killed his ex-girlfriend, Watkins, according to the documents. The messages said Droopy may have killed Watkins over an argument regarding a possibly stolen firearm.
Sanchez goes by the nickname Droopy.
Another person, who said he has known Sanchez since elementary school, said he helped Sanchez get rid of a gun, according to the documents. He said Sanchez retrieved a gun he'd buried in a mountainous area behind Hart Park, cut it into four pieces and they left some of the pieces at locations along Highway 99 near Pixley and Avenue 20.
The person told investigators Sanchez said he killed Watkins because she stole his gun.
Taken in for questioning on June 27, Sanchez told detectives he first learned about Watkins' death from a friend, the documents say. He said he'd spent the night with Watkins and the two had sex together, but he didn't kill her. He said people who know him would tell investigators he's not a violent person.
Sanchez said his relationship with Watkins was "fine" in the days before her killing, according to the documents. He refused to take a polygraph test.
Sanchez's girlfriend, also interviewed by investigators, said Sanchez wanted her to run away with him on June 2, according to the documents. She wanted to leave with him, but was scared because of rumors she'd heard about him killing Watkins.
The woman, whose name, like the other witnesses, is redacted in the documents, said she thought she was Sanchez's girlfriend, but believes Watkins was as well.
She said she hit Watkins about a week before she died because of something Watkins said about Sanchez, according to the documents. She said she felt bad about hitting her because that was the last time she saw her, and she hadn't hit Watkins for two-and-a-half years.
The woman told detectives she lied to give Sanchez an alibi. She said she told people Sanchez was at her mother's house at the time of the killing when in fact he wasn't.
She said she wasn't present when Watkins was killed, and only lied to protect Sanchez.
"Why?" detectives asked.
"Because I love him," the woman said, her voice trembling, according to the documents.
Sanchez was charged Oct. 16 and is being held without bail.