Convicted killer Ignacio Sanchez of Huron was sentenced to 70 years to life in prison on Friday for the shooting death of 19-year-old David Lemus.
Lemus was shot around midnight on July 10, 2016 after an altercation at a convenience store in Huron. When Huron police arrived at 36700 S. Lassen Ave. they found Lemus laying on the ground with a gunshot wound. He died later at Coalinga Hospital.
A jury convicted Sanchez, 37, on June 28, 2018 of second degree murder. Judge Arlan Harrell handed down the sentence Friday.
Prosecutor Amy Freeman could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Sanchez’s defense attorney Eric Schweitzer filed a motion for a new trial on Oct. 25, but it was denied. Schweitzer took Sanchez on as a client after his conviction, and was not his trial attorney.
Schweitzer said a witness, who did not testify during the trial, came forward to say Lemus was shot before Sanchez arrived. But the witness was unwilling to testify in court.
“There are different factions involved in these kinds of things and people can be reluctant to talk,” Schweitzer said. “And she was very reluctant.”
Surveillance footage, witness testimony and other evidence led to Sanchez’s arrest and ultimately his conviction.
Schweitzer has filed an appeal of Sanchez’s conviction and sentencing. He’s hopeful the appeals court will grant Sanchez a new trial.
“I was not his trial lawyer but from what I have seen, I endorse a new trial based on reasonable doubt that was not brought to bear at the trial,” he said.
Sanchez would be eligible for parole in about 60 years, Schweitzer said.