Sanchez faces 12 years for cliff crash

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By Tris DeRoma

SANTA FE — Neither the prosecution nor the defense minced words at the Friday arraignment of a Los Alamos man accused of causing “great bodily harm” to his now ex-girlfriend.
Zachary Sanchez, 31, is accused of driving himself and his girlfriend off a 200-foot cliff on N.M. 502 near Anderson Overlook in August of last year. According to both the prosecution and the defense, the crash was no accident.
At his arraignment, where Sanchez entered a not guilty plea, the prosecution asked Sanchez be placed on a surety bond and a wireless alcohol sobriety monitoring system.
“Frankly, we’re lucky this isn’t a vehicular homicide,” said Assistant District Attorney Natalie Perry in Santa Fe District Court Friday. “He’s a danger to himself and the community. He admitted to driving, he drove off a cliff with a passenger and severely injured that passenger.”
The state is contending he did it on purpose.
“The scary part of this is that the evidence shows it was intentional. There’s a witness that saw him on the side of the cliff that saw him slowly drive off of it, there were no brake lights,” Perry said, adding that he also made comments about killing her if she tried to break up with him.

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