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New details revealed in case of man charged with stabbing death of Muskegon woman

Kristopher Joesel, 36, is facing a murder charge in the stabbing death of Laura Sanchez back in July
Posted at 5:44 PM, Sep 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-21 17:44:36-04

MUSKEGON, Mich. — The case of a man charged in the stabbing death of a Muskegon woman moved forward in court Monday afternoon.

36-year-old Kristopher Joesel is facing an open murder charge in the death of Laura Sanchez on July 18 at The Amazon Apartments on Western Avenue.

Joesel appeared Monday via video conferencing in Muskegon District Court for a preliminary exam in the case. Two detectives were called by the prosecution to describe what they witnessed on scene back in July.

The first detective to take the stand described arriving to the apartment complex to find Sanchez covered in blood within one of the building's front vestibules.

He said investigators were quickly able to identify Joesel as a potential suspect in the stabbing and moved to take him into custody at his residence.

Both the prosecution and the defense showed videos to the judge in court Monday, in which they said you can see the killing take place. While the judge was able to view the videos in court Monday, they were not played for those in attendance, including FOX 17's camera.

Muskegon County Assistant Prosecutor Brian Hosticka said in regards to the recording, "There's a video that really tells a story this man knew that this very small woman was behind him and his reaction, he had a knife in his hand, his reaction was to turn and stab her twice and killed her.

Hosticka told FOX 17 that he will be pushing for Joesel to be convicted for first degree murder.

Joesel's defense attorney spent a portion of Monday's hearing calling witnesses to testify about an alleged fight that took place prior to the stabbing at a bar across the street from the apartment complex.

A bartender who said he witnessed most of the incident said Joesel became upset after a brief conversation about beer.

Hosticka said in court that the fight that happened at the bar was not relevant to the stabbing that happened later in the night. Laura Sanchez is not believed to have been involved in the altercation at the bar.

"She may have yelled at him and wanted words with him about what he was doing out on Western Avenue slashing tires," Hosticka told FOX 17.

"Really there is no way to explain it other than he wanted to get rid of her."

Joesel's case was eventually bound over to Circuit Court, where it will proceed.

FOX 17 touched base with family members of Sanchez following the hearing. They provided us the following written statement:

"Today we begin a journey we would never want to see another family have to experience. We have many feelings during this time; loss, hurt, and grief. We feel hope, faith and confidence too that Laura’s death will not be forgotten. We want what everyone would want when a tragic event occurs and that justice will be served. Laura will know she will be a beacon of light in a darkness that has begun to creep into our communities. We stand strong together in the conviction she will be remembered and her life tragically cut short will be a lesson to anyone who thinks doing evil actions have no consequences. We can never thank you enough for the continuous support and love you have shown."

— Family of Laura Sanchez