NYC woman sentenced for killing aunt with meat cleaver, raping relative

A New York City woman convicted of killing her aunt with a meat cleaver and raping a teenage relative was sentenced Tuesday to 23 years in prison.

Elizabeth Sanchez, a 32-year-old also known as Digna Sanchez-Ortiz, pleaded guilty in June to first-degree manslaughter and second-degree rape, stemming from incidents that happened between December 2016 and March 2017, court records show.

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Sanchez murdered her aunt, Maria Palaguachi, at her home in Jamaica, in the borough of Queens, in March 2017, acting Queens District Attorney John Ryan said. Palaguachi, 50, reportedly allowed Sanchez to stay with her when Sanchez had nowhere else to go.

“This defendant brutally took the life of her close relative, someone who took her into her home when the woman did not have a place to stay,” Ryan said, according to the Daily News. “This was a brutal attack that has traumatized an entire family.”

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Sanchez also pleaded guilty to raping a male relative under the age of 15 three times.

Sentenced to more than two decades in prison, Sanchez will serve her 2 1/2-to-7-year sentence on the rape charge simultaneously with her prison term for the murder of her aunt.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.