Former JBLM soldier gets 18 years for beating girlfriend to death

TACOMA — A former Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier has been sentenced to 18 years and eight months in prison for beating his girlfriend bloody with a vacuum cleaner and then strangling her.

The News Tribune of Tacoma reported that Refugio Sanchez Jr. was sentenced Thursday in Pierce County Superior Court after previously pleading guilty to second-degree murder in November 2013 death of 33-year-old Angela Cannizzio.

Court records show Sanchez used an upright vacuum cleaner to pummel Cannizzio head before dragging her downstairs, smashing her face into the floor and then strangling her.

At his sentencing Sanchez said he was horrified by what he’d done and wished he could take it back.

He served in the Army for six years before being discharged because of his legal problems.

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