Sun Sentinel: Stabbing death of Navy sailor was murder, jury finds

Before reaching their verdicts, the jurors spent hours listening again to Vandermeeren-Sanchez’s and Charles’ testimony, through recordings played on speakers in the courtroom.

Both were the key witnesses in the three-day trial, so the panel needed to sort out their differing versions of the bloody encounter and decide whether or not Charles showed up at the home in the 500 block of 53rd Street with a knife, intending to kill.

Prosecutors Adrienne Ellis and Alexcia Cox argued Charles, feeling jilted and angry over a child-care fight, left his job early and brought the blade with him to the home with one thought on his mind: murder. They said Charles’ testimony, especially his claim that he stabbed Vandermeeren-Sanchez 12 times accidentally, made no sense.

“He didn’t die on a battleship somewhere abroad,” prosecutor Cox said. “His life was snuffed out …when all he tried to do was come to the aid of his new girlfriend.”

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