May 24th, 2023

A Bucks County judge formally sentenced Alfonso Sanchez to death – a sentence handed down by a Bucks County jury earlier this month - on Wednesday, May 24, 2023, for the killing of Lisa Diaz inside a Warminster Township apartment in October 2007.

Sanchez, 41, formerly of Philadelphia, was additionally sentenced to life without parole for killing Mendez Thomas in the apartment that same day and a consecutive 52½ to 105 years for other crimes, including a plot to kill a woman who survived the 2007 rampage in the Bucks Landing apartments.

The sentence was handed down by Common Pleas Judge Alan M. Rubenstein, marking the second time Sanchez was convicted and sentenced to death for the 2007 murders of Diaz, 27, and Thomas, 22.

Prior to sentencing, relatives and friends of Thomas gave impact statements on how his murder has left a hole in their hearts. “It has been almost 16 years, but the pain of losing Mendez is still very fresh,” a friend said in her impact statement.

During the penalty phase, which began on May 2, 2023, loved ones of Diaz gave heart-wrenching victim impact statements and prosecutors presented aggravating factors that justified that Sanchez should be sentenced to death for the first-degree murder of Diaz. Among those factors, Sanchez committed the killings while in the perpetration of a felony and he knowingly created a grave risk of death to others. A Bucks County jury agreed and sentenced him to death.

Sanchez was convicted by a Bucks County jury on two counts of first-degree murder, and counts of burglary, aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person and related offenses. Additionally, the jury found Sanchez guilty of solicitation to commit murder in a plot to kill the surviving victim.

On the night of Oct. 16, 2007, Sanchez and two other men – Steven Miranda and Alex Martinez - went to Thomas’s apartment under the ruse that they wanted to buy marijuana from him.

After completing the marijuana transaction inside the apartment, Thomas and Sanchez got into a verbal altercation when one of them stepped on the other’s shoe.

During the altercation, Sanchez followed Thomas into the hallway of the apartment and shot him in the head. He then turned the gun on Diaz, shooting her multiple times, including once to her head.

Sanchez then fired the gun at Diaz’s sister, who was able to grab her son and ball him up in her arms in a protective fetal position, shielding him from gunfire. She was shot in the knee.

In 2008, Sanchez was found guilty of first-degree murder and was sentenced to death, but in 2017, he was granted a new trial after it was discovered that DNA lab reports were not turned over to his attorneys during the initial trial.

While awaiting the new trial, Sanchez solicited three others to have the living witness against him killed, but Bucks County Detectives thwarted his plot.

After the jury’s verdict on May 3, District Attorney Matt Weintraub said, “I’m ecstatic that I could bring this to a close for the family after they waited patiently for 16 years. It was a terrible ordeal for them to go through it again, but we feel vindicated that the jury rendered the verdict that they rendered.”

This case was investigated by Detectives with the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office and the Warminster Township Police Department, with assistance from Horsham Township Police Department, Detectives with the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, and the U.S. Marshals Service, and was prosecuted by District Attorney Matthew Weintraub, Chief Deputy District Attorney Matthew Lannetti and Deputy District Attorney Edward Furman Jr.

Media Contact: Manuel Gamiz Jr., 215.348.6298,