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Saturday, 6 March 2010

Wigberto Sanchez was known to be a member of the Mafioso street gang and had been recently released from jail prior to being shot.

10:14 |

Wigberto Sanchez, who had addresses in both Fall River and Taunton, was found dead in his cell at the Nashua Street Jail Wednesday. Sanchez was being held on charges of accessory after the fact and witness intimidation in relation to the shooting death of Charles Smith in July 2009.
During the arraignment for Sanchez and Jessie Eaton, who is changed with the shooting, prosecutors said the incident was the result of a gang-related territorial dispute. Smith was known to be a member of the Mafioso street gang and had been recently released from jail prior to being shot.During the arraignment for Sanchez and Eaton, Eaton’s attorney had sought to have his client located in the Barnstable County House of Correction due to concerns of retaliation for the shooting.
Wark said the circumstances of Sanchez’s death remain under investigation.
“There was no visible trauma on Mr. Sanchez’s body and nothing at the scene to suggest foul play,” Wark said.He added that due to the sudden and unattended nature of Sanchez’s death, a battery of tests would be conducted in an effort to determine a cause. Noting those tests could take several weeks, Wark said Sanchez’s cause of death remained “undetermined.”A spokesman for Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea Cabral would only confirm a death had taken place inside the Nashua Street facility and the circumstances were under investigation.Bristol County District Attorney’s office spokesman Gregg Miliote said the DA’s office was notified Thursday of Sanchez’s death and, pending official documentation, the charges against Sanchez would remain on the books.“Our case remains open until there is concrete evidence that he is in fact deceased,” Miliote said. “At the point we receive a death certificate our normal procedure would be” to not prosecute.Sanchez’s Fall River attorney, John Connors, said he last talked to his client by phone Tuesday and described him as a “young guy in good health” who was “fine” when they talked. He said he had sought to have Sanchez moved from another location.“I asked for him to be moved because of fears of problems with other people,” Connors said. “I don’t know if my client was in a gang, but there was some gang retaliation alleged in the killing” of Smith.He said he recently began talking to Sanchez about the possibility of presenting a bail argument due to the charges against him being filed because of allegations he mislead police during their investigation rather than being physically involved in the shooting.“I had given him some hope of getting an bail argument due to the bail particulars, and the next thing I know he’s not around anymore,” Connors said. “He was kind of caught in the middle as someone who had information and wouldn’t give it up.”

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