A Brentwood man was arraigned Friday in connection with the 2017 killing of his 65-year-old grandmother, Suffolk’s top prosecutor said, adding that the victim — who was visiting family from El Salvador during the holiday season — was stabbed up to 60 times and found dead in a parking lot.
Kevin Sanchez, 23, was arraigned on an indictment on second-degree murder before Suffolk County Court Judge Philip Goglas and held without bail, said Suffolk District Attorney Timothy Sini in a news release.
“This is a shocking and tragic case, but it is also unfortunately one of many instances of family violence that occur each year around the holiday season,” Sini said, referring to the December 2017 death of Paula Chavez Quintanilla. "We will prosecute the defendant to the fullest extent of the law to hold him accountable for this unthinkable murder.”
Sanchez’s attorney, Ian Fitzgerald of Central Islip, declined to comment.
Sanchez is due back in court on April 17 and faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison, officials said.
Prosecutors said Sanchez and Quintanilla left their family’s Brentwood home after 11 p.m. on Dec. 22, 2017 in a white Jeep SUV to look at Christmas lights and decorations on houses in the neighborhood.
But Sanchez entered the family home early on Dec. 23 without his grandmother and he told relatives that she was still in the vehicle, prosecutors said. Family members discovered she was not in the vehicle, contacted police and launched a search, officials said.
Quintanilla’s body was found the following morning at about 9 a.m. in the rear parking lot of an office building at 150 Motor Pkwy., in Hauppauge, Suffolk police said, adding that she had sustained “approximately 60 sharp force injuries.”
Homicide detectives said Sanchez gave them conflicting accounts of his and his grandmother’s whereabouts on the night she was killed, and that the investigation revealed evidence linking him to the crime scene, including a sweatshirt that officials said he was wearing when last seen with Quintanilla.