Today, 59-year-old Sandra Jean Melgar is sitting in a Texas state prison, where she has been convicted of killing her husband of 32 years.
But a quick Google search of the case will make it apparent that Melgar’s conviction is still a source of controversy. In a recent interview with ABC News’ 20/20, the couple’s daughter, Elizabeth “Lizz” Melgar Rose, explains, “I know that she did not do this… I’m going to continue to fight until we can prove that.” She goes on to describe the family as being very close-knit.
In August 2017, Melgar was sentenced to 27 years in prison. Assistant District Attorney Colleen Barnett said of the judge’s ruling, “Sandra Melgar hacked the life out of her husband Jaime, and for that she will spend the balance of her life on a cell block. She showed no remorse… The sentence is just.”
What Happened in December 2012?
In December 2012, Sandra and her husband were enjoying their wedding anniversary in the jacuzzi at their home. After a couple hours, the family’s four dogs started barking, so Jim went inside to check on them; Sandra stayed in the tub.
The following day, the family had planned a get-together with other family members, on December 23, 2012. When Jim Melgar’s brother, Herman Melgar, arrived at the house around 4:30pm, no one opened the door. He found his way inside, only to hear Sandra screaming for help.
He made his way to the master bedroom, where a chair was blocking the walk-in closet door. Inside, he found Sandra lying with her arms and legs tied up. Jim was then found, nude, beaten, and stabbed to death about 30 feet away.
Speaking to detectives, Sandry Melgar said that she remembered a mysterious car tailing them from the parking lot they had left earlier that night. She says that once they got in the hot tub and they heard the dogs barking, things became blurry. She told detectives, “He just was taking a while so I got out and was going to get dressed, or change in my closet. I went in there and I started to change and that’s all I remember until I woke up…”
Sandy told authorities she never saw or heard her husband being attacked. She claimed she had blacked out after being struck or hitting her head, and potentially had a seizure. “I couldn’t move because I had had a seizure and so I usually can’t move anyway. I hurt all over and my head hurts,” she said.
To this day, family, friends, and supporters continue to fight for justice for Sandy. Her daughter tells ABC News, “I tried to look at the evidence. … I tried to be unbiased about it, which is difficult because these are my parents. In the end, I still want justice for my dad. I want to know who did this, and it was not my mother.”
Be sure to tune into an all-new episode of ABC News’ 20/20 tonight to learn more about Jim Melgar’s murder.