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MCAO News Releases

Posted on: March 2, 2012

Miguel Sanchez Sentenced to Life in Prison for 2009 Murder of Paul Kapitz

PHOENIX, AZ (March 2, 2012) – Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Douglas Rayes has sentenced Miguel Angel Sanchez (D.O.B. 2/20/85) to spend the rest of his life in prison for robbing and murdering Paul Kaptiz in 2009. Sanchez avoided a possible death sentence by agreeing to plead guilty to multiple offenses including First Degree Felony Murder. He will never be eligible for release.

“This criminal deserves to die in prison for brutally taking an innocent life and robbing a family of their loved one,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “There can be no place in civilized society for those who perpetrate such senseless violence against members of our community,” he added.

Miguel Sanchez met Paul Kapitz while working briefly at an auto dealership where Kapitz was employed. On October 23, 2009, Sanchez entered Kapitz’s apartment on Bethany Home Road in Glendale wearing a ski mask and armed with a gun and attempted to rob him at gunpoint. When Kapitz attempted to fight back, Sanchez beat him to death. Sanchez stole credit cards and other personal items belonging to Kapitz as well as the victim’s silver Dodge SUV. He tied up the body, wrapped it in blankets and placed it in a garbage can which he then deposited in a dumpster outside an apartment complex twelve miles away. The body was discovered four days later by someone digging through the trash who contacted police. Investigators located a witness nearby who reported seeing a Hispanic male in a silver vehicle placing a large garbage can into the dumpster. Initial attempts to identify the body were unsuccessful.

On October 29th, 2009 a Glendale arson investigator told detectives he was investigating a suspicious fire that had occurred in Kapitz’s apartment and noted that the tenant could not be located. Detectives then learned that Kapitz had been reported as a missing person and obtained a search warrant on the apartment where they discovered blood and indications that a fire had been intentionally started in an apparent effort to cover up crime scene evidence.

On November 2, 2009, Sanchez’s aunt and uncle called Phoenix Police to report that their nephew may have killed someone. Detectives interviewed the family and Sanchez’s girlfriend, who stated that Sanchez told her he had gone to the apartment of a man and attempted to rob him with an unloaded gun. Sanchez told her the man came at him, so he killed him during the struggle. As he was telling her this, a news story appeared on TV about a dead body found in a dumpster. Sanchez then told her that was the victim.

After he was apprehended and his uncle’s residence, Sanchez eventually admitted to murdering Kapitz, disposing his body and starting a fire in the apartment in an effort to cover up the crime. He was indicted on First Degree Murder, First Degree Burglary, Armed Robbery, Kidnapping, Arson of an Occupied Structure, Theft of Means of Transportation and Credit Card Theft. He pled guilty to all counts.

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