San Diego

Jury Deliberates in ‘Snapchat Killing' Trial

Salvador Alejandro Sanchez, 19, is accused in the April 2017 killing of Maithem Alfuraiji during an alcohol-fueled fight – part of which wound up on social media

Jurors are deliberating in the guilt phase of the so-called Snapchat killing.

In April 2017, when an Escondido teenager was killed, the sound of his cries was posted on Snapchat by a close friend.

That friend is now on trial for murder.

Salvador Alejandro Sanchez, 19, has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in the beating death of Maithem Alfuraiji.

The trial has been split into two parts: the guilt phase and the sanity phase.

First, the jury will decide if Sanchez is guilty of murder. If the jury decides that is the case, the group will then have to decide on the sanity issue.

Alfuraiji, 20, was last seen on April 27, 2017. He was on his way to meet a friend but never showed up. Three days later, his body was found in Valley Center.

Sanchez was soon arrested in connection with the slaying.

Escondido police said Sanchez got into a fight with Alfuraiji while they were drinking alcohol, which resulted in Alfuraiji's death. 

In court earlier this year, the evidence presented by prosecutors included audio and images posted by Sanchez to Snapchat, white clothes found covered in the victim's blood, a statement from a friend who helped transport Alfuraiji's body and the defendant's alleged confession to police.

According to Alexander Gendron, a friend of both Sanchez and Alfuraiji, Sanchez posted on Snapchat that he "did it."

If convicted, Sanchez faces 25 years to life in prison.

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