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Father sentenced to 16 years to life in stabbing death of 6-year-old son

Father sentenced to 16 years to life in stabbing death of 6-year-old son
Alejandro Sanchez was sentenced to 16-years-to-life in prison in the stabbing death of his 6-year-old son. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

A father who stabbed his 6-year-old son to death last year was sentenced Monday to 16 years to life in prison.

Alejandro Sanchez, 39, pleaded no contest in June to second-degree murder and using a knife in killing his 6-year-old boy, Nathan Sanchez, inside a small white trailer behind their home in South L.A. in June 2014.

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Sanchez was under the influence of methamphetamine when he killed his son, prosecutors said.

Authorities said Sanchez was found standing in his front yard on East 88th Street and speaking incoherently.

Nathan's body was found on a bed inside a trailer tucked behind a home in the Florence-Firestone neighborhood. Nathan had been stabbed with a kitchen knife and later died at St. Francis Medical Center.

Sanchez's sister, Yolanda Sanchez-Santoyo, told the Times last year that she was stunned by the boy's death.

"He was my nephew and I loved him very much," Sanchez said.

Sanchez said she had spoken several times to her brother about taking custody of her nephew because her brother was often away, but he always refused.

She said Nathan's mother died five days after he was born.

"This is a double heartbreak," Sanchez-Santoyo said.

Six houses away, Ernestina Quintero, 51, described Nathan Sanchez as a happy, outgoing and curious child.

"He couldn't sit still for a moment," she said. "I'm terribly sad over this."

She said the boy attended Parmelee Avenue Elementary School and recalled taking the child to Disneyland a month before he was killed. It was his first trip to the amusement park.

"He didn't want to leave," she said. "He was so happy."

Times staff writers Ruben Vives and Nicole Santa Cruz contributed to this report.

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