Pizza Shop of Horrors

Jury finds man guilty of killing supervisor at La Puente Domino’s Pizza

Photo by Purplellamas01 on Wikimedia Commons. License:

Rafael Sanchez, 32, of Baldwin Park was found guilty of first degree murder on Tuesday, Nov. 19, for stabbing to death Daniel Sanchez, 20, of La Puente.

Rafael worked at Domino’s Pizza on 1073 N. Hacienda Blvd. in La Puente with Daniel, where Daniel was Rafael’s supervisor. According to Deputy District Attorney Eric Neff, Daniel Sanchez was stabbed once in the neck, twice in the left arm and once in the back. The coroner determined that it was the stab wound in the neck that ended up killing him.

“He told us he just snapped,” Sheriff’s Homicide Detective Ray Lugo said.

Rafael Sanchez first stabbed Daniel Sanchez on March 10, 2018.

Daniel and Rafael shared no familial relation, and Neff said that Rafael Sanchez is facing up to 26 years to life in prison at his upcoming sentencing on Jan. 15, 2020, taking place at Pomona’s Superior Court.

According to the prosecutor, the defense alleged that Rafael Sanchez was a victim of childhood trauma.

Neff explained that Rafael alleged he was physically assaulted on four different occasions by unidentified males, also claiming he experienced trauma at the hands of his parents. When asked by detectives and a psychologist to elaborate, the defendant could not provide details.

Sanchez had previously worked at a Domino’s Pizza in El Monte for about three months before working at the store in La Puente, where he also had problems, Lugo said. Prior to the stabbing, Rafael Sanchez had been working at the Hacienda Boulevard location for three months.

Neff said there was “prior evidence showing that people at Domino’s thought the defendant was weird.” The prosecutor added that Sanchez did have issues with co-workers at Domino’s.

On the night of the stabbing, Domino’s was busy. Daniel Sanchez had told Rafael Sanchez to deliver pizzas.

“He said he was upset that a supervisor younger than him told him to make deliveries,” Lugo said.

Following Daniel Sanchez’s request, Rafael Sanchez pulled out a 6-inch blade and stabbed his supervisor from behind. Daniel Sanchez was able to punch his attacker a few times, also knocking him down, according to the prosecutor.

Neff added that Rafael began to exit out of the back of the store to his car, but other co-workers did not let him leave. Deputies later arrested the assailant and recovered the knife.

“Daniel was extremely courageous. He fought for his life,” Lugo added.

The prosecutor said that Daniel Sanchez’s family was present at every court date.

“Daniel left a lot of family behind that will miss him,” Neff added.