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Queens woman sentenced to 23 years in prison time for hacking aunt to death with meat cleaver, raping underage relative

2019-08-20

Maria Palaguachi, pictured, was killed by Elizabeth Sanchez in her family's two-story home on 174th St. in Rochdale, Queens, on March 16, 2017. (Facebook)

A Queens woman was sentenced to 23 years in prison Tuesday for murdering her aunt with a meat cleaver and raping a teenage relative three times.

Elizabeth Sanchez pleaded guilty to manslaughter in June for killing Maria Palaguachi, 50, on March 18, 2017, inside the victim’s home on 174th St. near 137th Ave. in Rochdale.

Sanchez, 32, also pleaded guilty to raping a boy younger than 15 she’s related to three times between December 2016 and March 2017.

Cops investigate after Maria Palaguachi, 50, was discovered hacked to death inside her home on 174th St. near 137th Ave. in Rochdale on March 18, 2017.
Cops investigate after Maria Palaguachi, 50, was discovered hacked to death inside her home on 174th St. near 137th Ave. in Rochdale on March 18, 2017. (Bruce Cotler/for New York Daily News)

The dead woman’s daughter made the gruesome discovery — finding her mother hacked to death inside a bedroom.

“This defendant brutally took the life of her close relative, someone who took her into her home when the woman did not have a place to stay,” acting Queens District Attorney John Ryan said Tuesday. “This was a brutal attack that has traumatized an entire family.”

Queens Supreme Court Justice Ira Margulis sentenced Sanchez to 23 years in prison on the top charge of manslaughter and two to seven years on the rape charge. The sentences will run concurrently.

Sanchez also goes by the name Digna Sanchez-Ortiz.