(Joshua Polson /The Greeley Tribune via AP) He led Greeley police to the remains of his wife Tina Tournai-Sandoval, last week in exchange for a lessor sentence. John Sandoval is escorted out of the courtroom after pleading guilty to second-degree murder at the Weld County Courthouse in Greeley, Colo., Friday, March 31, 2017.
#WeldDA pic.twitter.com/TVt9zxLMw2 #BREAKING John Sandoval pleads guilty to 1995 murder of wife, tells prosecutors where he hid remains – ending 22 yr mystery.
He dug about 2 feet (0.61 metres) below the open grave and buried Tournai-Sandoval’s body, which was wrapped in several layers of industrial-grade plastic. Prosecutors said that in the early morning hours of Oct. 20, 1995, Sandoval found an open gravesite that was scheduled for a burial later that afternoon.
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But an appeals court overturned his case last year, ruling that a judge wrongfully allowed evidence that Sandoval stalked other women, as well as expert testimony correlating stalkers with murderers. Sandoval was convicted in 2010 of first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison.
… “For 7,826 days, 3 hours and 22 minutes, the location of Tina’s remains has been a mystery. “Tina has been returned to her family and may finally be laid to rest.” Over the course of the last week, we have finally been able to give her family what they so desperately wanted,” Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke said in a news release Friday.
Cemetery workers then unknowingly buried the veteran over her remains.
— Weld County DA (@WeldCountyDA) March 31, 2017
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#9news pic.twitter.com/yNOUcpgoHj He took cops here last week. Grave where investigators say Tina Sandoval was buried by her estranged husband John in ‘95.
DENVER — A Colorado man who pleaded guilty Friday to killing his estranged wife more than two decades ago recently led authorities to her body, which was buried under the grave of a Second World War veteran.
Prosecutors had been preparing for a new trial when Sandoval acknowledged knowing the location of his wife’s body.
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That day, detectives found a wet and muddy shovel in Sandoval’s car and muddy clothes inside his home. After he was arrested, investigators noticed scratch marks on his face, neck and chest.
Charges were not filed at the time because authorities could not find the body, any witnesses or a crime scene.
As part of a plea deal, he told investigators March 22 the remains were buried at a Greeley cemetery. John Sandoval, 52, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the 1995 death of Kristina Tournai-Sandoval.
— Anastasiya Bolton (@abolton9news) March 31, 2017
She also arranged to talk with her sister by phone after the meeting. According to court records, Sandoval met with his wife Oct. 19, 1995, to settle a debt before finalizing their divorce. Before the meeting, she warned family members that if anything happened to her, her husband was responsible.