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Evidence paints grisly picture of June 2020 stabbing in Pittsylvania County
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Evidence paints grisly picture of June 2020 stabbing in Pittsylvania County

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Xochil Ochoa had 17 knife wounds, including eight to her head and neck and four to her torso.

A summary of the Pittsylvania County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s evidence follows the tense moments that led to Ochoa’s fatal stabbing by her husband, Jesus Armando Ochoa Sanchez, on June 11, 2020, at 8601 Mount Cross Road.

Sanchez, 41, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, three counts of assaulting a police officer and misdemeanor assault and battery in Pittsylvania County Circuit Court on Wednesday.

“I’m happy that he’s done it,” Pittsylvania County Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Haskins said Friday of Sanchez’s guilty plea.

The guilty plea saves Sanchez’s step-daughter, who witnessed the attack on her mother, from testifying in front of her step-father again, Haskins said.

Sanchez is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 4.

According to the summary of evidence obtained by the Danville Register & Bee, Ochoa had 17 stab or cut wounds to her body, which also included five to her upper extremities.

The summary’s narrative of events presents a tense and chilling picture of what happened on the afternoon of June 11 at the family’s residence.

Ochoa, 39, and her three children were at the home when Sanchez called one of the children to let him inside the residence, according to the summary of evidence.

Sanchez, who was outside the home, had been living at another residence owned by Ochoa, who had told him she wanted a divorce.

Before the step-daughter could open the unlocked door, Sanchez walked into the home and went to Ochoa’s bedroom, where she was asleep after working the night shift at her job in North Carolina, the summary of evidence stated.

The step-daughter, Zafiro Lopez, repeatedly called her mother, Ochoa, on her cellphone to let her know Sanchez was in the home.

“Ms. Lopez stayed in her room and tried to listen to what Mrs. Ochoa and defendant were saying in the bedroom adjacent to her own,” the summary of evidence states.

‘Be ready’

At about 4:20 p.m., Ochoa’s older sister received a text message from Ochoa’s phone stating, “be prepared” or “be ready,” in Spanish.

More than 20 minutes after Sanchez had walked into Ochoa’s bedroom, Lopez heard a scream, ran out of her room and saw Sanchez cutting and stabbing Ochoa with a knife against the door of Ochoa’s bedroom, according to the court document.

A criminal complaint states Lopez’s 911 call described the weapon as a hunting knife, which was about a foot long.

Ochoa tried to run away from Sanchez, but he chased her throughout the home.

“Defendant caught Mrs. Ochoa in the dining room,” the summary states. “Mrs. Ochoa fell to the floor and defendant got on top of Mrs. Ochoa and continued to stab her.”

Lopez tried to intervene, but Sanchez threw her off of him. Lopez’ younger sister, Naomie Ochoa, had come out of her room and they both began screaming.

The victim’s son, Isaac Rosales, heard the commotion from his bedroom in the basement and went upstairs to find his mother lying in from of him, surrounded by blood, according to the summary.

“Mr. Rosales then saw the defendant holding a ‘broken machete’ in his hands,” the summary states.

Rosales grabbed a chair and used it to push Sanchez away from his mother.

“Defendant was covered in Mrs. Ochoa’s blood,” the summary states. “Defendant went into Mrs. Ochoa’s bedroom and locked the door. At that point, Mrs. Ochoa was still alive, and Ms. Lopez told her that she loved her.”

The victim stopped moving and her son put his head to her chest and listened for a heartbeat, but did not hear one. Rosales grabbed a knife and broke into the bedroom where Sanchez had retreated, according to the summary.

Sanchez, who still had the knife used to kill Xochil Ochoa, told Rosales to “stay back.”

Children run from home

Xochil Ochoa’s three children left the home and Rosales used his knife to slash the tires of Sanchez’s truck so he could not escape. They ran across the street to a neighbor’s house.

When Lopez called 911 at about 4:25 p.m., she heard a gunshot from inside her family’s residence.

Pittsylvania County law enforcement began to arrive at 4:33 p.m., and formulated a plan to enter the residence where Sanchez was barricaded.

When investigators entered the home, they found Sanchez sitting on the living room floor, pointing a rifle at them. The investigators were Capt. Corey Webb and Nathan Spencer and Anthony Rouse.

“After law enforcement officers discharged their firearms, defendant was still holding his firearm with his hand,” the summary states. “Defendant instructed the officers to shoot him multiple times.”

Sanchez was shot.

Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Corey Webb deployed a stun gun on Sanchez, who was then handcuffed.

Xochil Ochoa was pronounced dead by emergency personnel at 5:02 p.m.

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