BRENTWOOD, N.H. — Only moments before he was scheduled to plead guilty Friday for his role in a violent Hampstead home invasion, a Haverhill man said he changed his mind.
Angel Sanchez, 32, had agreed to serve 18 to 40 years in state prison on numerous charges stemming from an incident allegedly involving three other Haverhill men who broke into a home in search of weapons July 18, 2011.
They terrorized the owner and a female companion, blindfolding the pair and tying them up with electrical cords while holding them up at gunpoint, police said.
The woman was raped by co-defendant Max Menagerman after a gun was stuck in her mouth and held to her head. Menagerman is serving a 20- to 40-year prison sentence after pleading guilty in January.
But Sanchez told Rockingham Superior Court Judge N. William Delker he had second thoughts about pleading guilty as promised in exchange for a lighter sentence.
Sanchez also requested a new lawyer, saying he didn’t feel he received proper representation from attorney Patrick Fleming. That request was denied by Delker.
“I’m not comfortable doing 18 years,” Sanchez said, speaking through a Spanish interpreter. “I think 18 years is too much. I’m asking for the attorney to get me a better defense.”
Sanchez said he would rather have a trial and that prosecutor Kirsten Wilson’s plea offer of 12 to 24 years in prison was increased to 18 to 40 years after he declined the initial agreement.
That was also after Sanchez was denied his request to have evidence suppressed in the case.
“We’re talking about my life here,” Sanchez said. “My life is on the line, my future.”
Delker told Sanchez he would give him until Monday to decide whether he wanted to plead guilty or seek a trial.
“The decision whether or not to plead guilty is entirely up to you,” the judge said.
Sanchez has been indicted on numerous charges in the case.
They include five counts of theft, five counts of attempted witness tampering, two counts of conspiracy to commit theft, and single counts each of conspiracy to commit theft, accomplice to aggravated felonious sexual assault, criminal threatening and felonious use of a firearm.
If Sanchez was convicted at trial on the sexual assault charge, he could face a harsher sentence than if he pleaded guilty, Delker said.
In a separate case, Sanchez is charged with trying to solicit gang members to deal with a fellow inmate who was an informant. That trial is scheduled for June.
A third Haverhill man, Avery Walker, 22, was arrested in November 2011 and convicted in spring 2012 for conspiracy to commit burglary. He was sentenced to up to four years in prison.
The fourth suspect, Abraham DePaula, 26, is to go on trial next week on theft and burglary charges.