Richi was stabbed to death in 2020 in Getafe. His mother fears that the verdict will not do him justice
“A friend called me. ‘Sara, they say Ricardo has been stabbed.’ I replied that it was impossible, that she had just left him. I started calling him and he wouldn’t pick up the phone. I ran out towards Ferrocarril street where we had kissed goodbye and they no longer allowed me to see him. He was covered, there was a big sheet. Doctors spent 45 minutes trying to revive him. I wanted to die right there but I’m still here.
The sun beat mercilessly that afternoon: September 4, 2020. It wasn’t even seven o’clock; the summer still exploding. Sara Sánchez and her son Richi, as they called him, went to Carrefour to buy diapers for their little sister. On his return, the boy asked his mother to drop him off on Ferrocarril street (Getafe) where he had met two friends. Minutes later, Sara received the call that killed her while she was alive.
Richi, who had turned 14 a few days earlier, was sitting on a bench with two 15-year-old friends. Francisco C., Paquito, 18, and several other minors were walking down the street. According to the Prosecutor’s Office, the boys Richi was with and the opposing group began to argue. There were kicks and punches. Without anyone expecting it, Paquito took a knife from the fanny pack he was carrying and attacked them “moved by the desire to end the lives” of the three “or being fully aware of the risk that his actions posed to their lives, as well as the high probabilities of causing their death”.
No one sensed that closeness of death. Richi collapsed 36 meters. The knife severed his external iliac artery and took his life. His two friends were also seriously injured, one in the lung and the other in the leg and arm. Paquito and his colleagues fled and took refuge in the house of one of them. They cleaned the gun and threw it into a dumpster. Five days later the perpetrator of the crime entered prison. This week the Madrid Court has tried him.
“I only gave him a little prick to scare,” he declared before the Court on Monday. According to him, he acted in self-defense to avoid the blows that the victim and his friends were giving him, whom he accuses of belonging to the “Trinitarios” Latino gang. The police investigation ruled out such belonging. Sara, Richi’s mother, is drilled by this lie. No one even saw him participate in the fight.
«Richi was a good son, a good brother, a good friend. He never gave me a problem either at home or at school. He would go for a walk, play football, have dinner at the burger and return at half past nine or ten ». It seems that there are no more tears left but each sentence is a flood of tears. “It was my son who pulled me out of depression.”
His father’s heart attack
Sara and Ricardo were more than a team. When the boy was seven years old, he saw his father die of a heart attack. Both were in the house of the grandparents’ village. Sara had stayed working in Madrid. The boy ran to the street to ask for help. Nothing could be done. «Richi had to mature before his time. My child was so responsible…».
There are families in which tragedy seems like one more member that engulfs them. Years later, the woman rebuilt her life and her partner became a father to her son. In 2016 she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The disease has worsened after the crime. At 42 years old, she has been granted absolute disability. «I am devastated. I take many pills a day so I don’t throw myself on the terrace, which is the only way out I see sometimes.
On sleepless nights and aimless days, Sara tells that she is haunted by an idea. “Why wouldn’t my car tire have a flat that afternoon or why wouldn’t my son forget his cell phone and so he would have been late?” She knows that they are thoughts to escape the devastation with which she lives. «I said goodbye to my son with a kiss and then already in a pine box… at the age of 14 he was murdered. He had his hair combed, gorgeous, he never combed his hair like that. And cold, very cold.”
The Prosecutor’s Office requests 37 years for the author: 17 for Ricardo’s homicide and ten for each of the two attempts by his friends, who would have died had it not been for immediate medical attention. The two minors who accompanied Paquito were given two years of probation.
Sara has been making a pilgrimage to the Audiencia like a soul in pain all week. The prosecutor appreciates the mitigation of mental disturbance because the alleged perpetrator is diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder “which entails a low tolerance for frustration and poor impulse control that leads to the execution of short-circuited behaviors.”
“His friends told him that he had four knives and that he distributed them like candy”
The orphaned mother of her son stirs every time she hears it. “If he was so bad, why wasn’t he medicated? It is a danger to society. Just as he took my child, he can take