ELKO – Jose de Jesus Segundo-Huizar was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole Friday for the 2016 murder and decapitation of Carmen Magallanes-Sanchez.
Segundo-Huizar, 48, pleaded no contest Nov. 27 in Elko District Court to first degree murder, a category A felony, for killing Magallanes-Sanchez in her Ryndon home on Aug. 24, 2016.
The defendant, represented by Public Defender Kriston Hill, appeared in district court before Judge Al Kacin to receive his sentence on March 2. District Attorney Tyler Ingram represented the state.
The sentencing hearing was translated by court interpreter Eloise Mendoza for Segundo-Huizar, who does not speak English.
Asking for life without the possibility of parole, Ingram recounted the details of Magallanes-Sanchez’s death based off of Segundo-Huizar’s confession to Elko County Sheriff’s detectives.
The incident began with an argument between Magallanes-Sanchez and Segundo-Huizar. She first hit Segundo-Huizar and then she was struck by the defendant, hitting her head on a sink and falling to the floor. The defendant bludgeoned the victim with a hammer and transported the body 30 miles north on Mountain City Highway. He buried the body less than one mile off of the highway.
In Segundo-Huizar’s confession, he told police he “had thoughts of Carmen sitting up in the grave and screaming for help, so he went back to his van, retrieved a knife, cut Carmen’s throat, and then cut Carmen’s head off.” He drove to another spot and buried the head.
Ingram said the crime was “grotesque beyond the imagination,” explaining that the victim “did not deserve to be murdered” the way she was and not living to raise her four children, including a 2-year-old child, who was 9 months old at the time of the incident.
“All four of her children deserve to have her as a mother. She has a very young child who will likely never have a memory of her mother,” Ingram said.
Ingram also countered the findings from Reno forensic psychiatrist Dr. Melissa Piasecki, who stated in her report that the defendant did not exhibit anti-social behavior, had no criminal or violent history or mental disorders, showed sadness and remorse about the crime, and cooperated with law enforcement to locate the victim’s remains.
“In the end, I doubt Carmen or her children care one little bit about any of those things,” Ingram said. “What this man did is hideous and disgusting and nothing but life without prison is justice in this case.”
Hill asked the court to sentence Segundo-Huizar to life with the possibility of parole “to allow my client to have parole at some point in time. He will be a very old man when he is eligible for parole.”
Hill said that “the person I know, Jose de Jesus Segundo-Huizar, is not the person we’ve [heard] about today,” explaining that the crime “didn’t make sense,” and adding that there was a toxic relationship between the victim and the defendant.
She also cited Dr. Piasecki’s report which deemed him a “low risk for future violence.”
“I truly don’t believe that he is a threat to anyone or himself,” Hill said.
“I believe that the initial act in pushing her and hitting her head was purely accidental,” Hill continued. “In discussing this with him, he said he lost his mind … he was terrified and had no idea what to do. Crazy thoughts starting going through his head.”
“Without his cooperation, her entire body may not have been recovered,” Hill concluded.
When Segundo-Huizar was asked by Kacin through Mendoza if he wanted to make a statement on his behalf, the defendant silently shook his head and lowered it toward the table.
Hill also asked the court to take into consideration that if Segundo-Huizar were to receive probation “given the age that he will be at the time he’s released from prison, he will ultimately be deported to Mexico and not remain in our country.”
Segundo-Huizar, who has been in custody at the Elko County Jail since his arrest Oct. 3, 2016, admitted at his arraignment in November that he is not a United States citizen.
Antonio Arroyo, the boyfriend of Magallanes-Sanchez, delivered a victim impact statement to the court interpreted by Mendoza, asking for Segundo-Huizar to receive life in prison.
Arroyo said on Aug. 24, 2016, he discovered their child alone in their home in her crib “crying, dirty and a mess.” He reported Magallanes-Sanchez missing to police.
When asked by Ingram to describe Segundo-Huizar’s and Magallanes-Sanchez’s relationship, Arroyo said he was unclear about it himself, except that she told him the defendant “bothered her a lot” at work and he claimed to be the baby’s father to other people.
Arroyo further stated that he was unable to live in Elko because people accused him of killing Magallanes-Sanchez.
Before handing down his sentence, Kacin said he took into consideration Hill’s argument that the defendant cooperated with authorities after his arrest to locate the victim’s remains and confessed to the crime.
Kacin said he also took into consideration the report from the state Division of Parole and Probation which recommended life without the possibility of parole, adding that ultimately the details of the crime spoke louder than anything.
“The facts of the case are grisly, gruesome, hideous, and despicable. You can’t think of enough adjectives and I don’t know if any of them do justice to how awful this murder was,” Kacin said, further stating that the decapitation factor “added insult to injury” because the victim was already dead.
Kacin also called the murder the “ultimate act of domestic violence.”
“This is as bad as it gets for a domestic violence case that I’ve ever seen,” he said.
“Carmen’s family needs justice. The community needs justice,” Kacin said. “I wish Carmen’s family the best. I can’t imagine the pain felt by her children and those who loved her and cared about her.”
“It’s a terrible case and the sentence, as I said already, is justice.”