Sandra Sanchez's lover is dead and her husband faces the possibility of life in prison after being charged with his murder.
She's been following news coverage in the weeks since her husband, Rigoberto Sanchez, 39, allegedly gunned down Edwin Lima at her Bakersfield apartment the evening of May 28 and fired at but missed her.
In an email to The Californian, Sandra Sanchez said some of the things her husband is reported to have told authorities about the events leading up to the shooting either aren't true or tell only part of the story.
Lima and the Sanchezes all worked as correctional officers at Tehachapi's California Correctional Institution.
She and her husband split up seven months before the shooting, she said, and she never cheated on him before starting a relationship with the 31-year-old Lima.
Before the night of the shooting, she said she hadn't had contact with Rigoberto Sanchez for at least 2 1/2 months.
She ceased all communication with him, she said, after he burglarized her apartment on March 9. Among the charges filed against Rigoberto Sanchez are two counts of burglary stemming from incidents on March 9 and May 27.
Sandra Sanchez said she chose not to press charges in the earlier burglary because she knew Rigoberto Sanchez would lose his job. Instead, she encouraged him to file for divorce, which he did.
Time passed without any further issues, she said.
But on the night of the shooting, she said, Rigoberto Sanchez called her. She said she didn't argue with him, just hung up when he became "irate."
Lima, who was at her apartment when Rigoberto Sanchez again called, decided to talk with him.
"Edwin insisted on having a man-to-man conversation with him the second time Rigoberto called," she said. "They spoke for a while over the phone but at no point during the conversation did Edwin taunt Rigoberto about our relationship."
In fact, Sandra Sanchez said, the two never had any confrontation prior to that phone call. She said Lima was a "very good, well-respected officer," and her husband is trying to tarnish his name with what he's told investigators.
She said her husband was upset she was moving on with her life even though he had been involved in a months-long relationship with a woman officer at the prison.
"I told Rigoberto that I just wanted him to move on, leave me alone and to be happy," she said.
Some of her statements clash with information contained in police reports filed in court.
The night of the shooting, Rigoberto Sanchez told investigators, he called his wife multiple times, and on a couple occasions spoke with Lima. He said Lima taunted him over the affair, bragging about having sex with his wife and how he would send Rigoberto Sanchez a video of them engaged in sex acts, the documents said.
Rigoberto Sanchez said he became infuriated and drove over to the apartment, the documents said. He said he doesn't remember taking aim while firing. He fled to Mexico and said he didn't sleep for three days.
And while Sandra Sanchez describes Lima as "well-respected," Rigoberto Sanchez said Lima, who was also married, had a bad reputation and he believed Lima smuggled contraband into prison, the documents said. He said he had twice challenged Lima to a fight after finding out about the affair.
Sanchez was taken into custody in Mexico on June 21. He was transported to Yuma, Ariz., before being extradited back to Kern.
He's next due in court Aug. 24.