Local News

Raleigh Man Charged With Murder After Decapitating, Mutilating Roommate

Posted July 4, 2003 6:22 a.m. EDT

— There are new details about a murder in Raleigh. Authorities say the man accused of the crime not only murdered his victim, but also mutilated the body.

Authorities said Carlos Leon Sanchez, 44, admitted responsibility for Alfredo Sandoval Rodriguez's death. Investigators said Rodriguez was stabbed more than 100 times, struck with a claw hammer, possibly strangled and decapitated.

In addition, Rodriguez's heart was cut out and set on the floor of the condominium, authorities said. The body was found Wednesday.

An autopsy Thursday said Rodriguez died from the stab wounds to the chest, Assistant Medical Examiner Thomas Owens said. Police believe the stab wounds were inflicted with a 10-inch butcher knife recovered from the condominium, Raleigh police Lt. Chris Morgan said.

Police said they were investigating an unrelated burglary nearby when Sanchez approached them. He told them his

roommate was dead

inside their third-floor unit at Trailwood Heights Apartments.

According to police, Sanchez later confessed to murdering his roommate.

Authorities said Rodriguez, 32, a day laborer, was likely attacked as he slept on his couch. He had no defensive wounds, Morgan said.

Police are investigating possible links between Sanchez, a Cuban immigrant, with unsolved murder cases in several states, including Texas, Florida, Minnesota, South Dakota and Washington. Authorities said Sanchez and Rodriguez had moved to Raleigh from San Antonio a few weeks ago.

"We are assuming, based on what we know about this individual, that there are other cases out there," Morgan said.

Sanchez was held in isolation at the Wake County jail after his arrest, then brought to a brief court appearance Thursday afternoon.

When Wake District Judge Michael Morgan asked Sanchez if he needed a court-appointed attorney, Sanchez said he didn't care.

"These are extremely obvious, serious charges," the judge said, and as he attempted to ask again, Sanchez interrupted him.

"I don't care what you do, sir," Sanchez said.

Sanchez was later transferred to Central Prison, where he was being held late Thursday without bail.

A landlord who knew both the suspect and the victim said he was stunned to hear about the crime. Residents in the quiet student community were also surprised about the crime.

"I was a bit shocked at first because nothing like that usually happens around here," Sam Gettleman said. "But you know, roommates get into it every once in a while."

The crime scene indicated this was not an average disagreement between roommates. Police believe some aspect of the murder may have some cultural or religious significance.

Police say Sanchez and Rodriguez got into an argument over money. The owner of the condo the two men shared said he let Sanchez and Rodriguez live there while they painted and made repairs. He said he was planning to rent it out through a newspaper ad later this month.

The landlord said he met both men in April, when they did some work for him. He said Sanchez called him last Saturday and asked if Rodriguez could stay there.