Phoenix man accused in girlfriend's stabbing death

PHOENIX - A 23-year-old man faces a charge of second-degree murder in the stabbing death of his girlfriend in Phoenix on July 3.

The suspect was stopped by Gila River police after someone called to report the 2004 Ford Expedition he was driving struck a guard rail just after 9:30 a.m.

Officers noticed the man had a cloth covering his neck and that there was blood.

He admitted having a physical fight with his girlfriend, saying he’d punched her, but he denied stabbing her.

The suspect was taken to a Chandler hospital for treatment and Phoenix police were asked to respond to his apartment near Indian School Road and 71st Avenue.

When they got inside, officers found the victim, 22-year-old Sandra Meneses, lying in the living room with puncture or stab wounds to her neck, according to court documents.

Paramedics pronounced her deceased at the scene just after 10:15 a.m.

On July 8, the suspect was released from the hospital where he was being treated and taken to the Phoenix Police Department to be interviewed.

According to police, his story was inconsistent with the evidence when he allegedly told them Meneses had come up behind him with a knife in both hands pointed at his neck.

He reportedly told police he punched Meneses then grabbed the knife and cut Meneses in the cheek.

The suspect said he ran from the apartment, returning a short time later to get his wallet and cash and saw the victim lying on the floor in the living room between an ottoman and sofa, according to police.

He said he cleaned up in the bathroom, changed clothes and left the apartment without checking on Meneses.

He reportedly told police he didn’t call officers because he was scared and didn’t know what to do.

According to the Medical Examiner, Meneses had at least seven stab wounds to her thigh, calf, chest, neck, cheek and arm.

ABC15 is not identifying the suspect as he has not yet been formally charged.

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