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Colorado Springs man named after James Bond villain allegedly killed father over inheritance plot

KRDO

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- A man named Jean-Joseph Danger Le Chiffre has been behind bars at the El Paso County Jail for over a year awaiting trial for the murder of his father, but new details show the lead-up to the alleged killing and how Jean-Joseph picked up his name from a James Bond movie.

Le Chiffre changed his name from Patrick Sandoval in early 2019, roughly a year and a half before his father was found dead. Le Chiffre is also the name of a villain featured in the James Bond movie Casino Royale.

In July of 2020, a man named Stephen Long called police when he found 83-year-old Gilbert Sandoval dead at the bottom of the stairs in a home near Memorial Hospital. Court documents show that Long was there to help facilitate a meeting between Gilbert and his wife, Marcella Sandoval, to discuss dropping divorce proceedings. Long told police he dropped Gilbert off around 10:35 a.m. and returned around 12:15 p.m. to find Gilbert bleeding and unresponsive at the bottom of the stairs. He found Marcella on the main floor tending to injuries on her arms. She would not answer any of Long's questions.

When police arrived, they found Marcella with self-bandaged injuries on her arms and hands. As medical personnel took her outside to get her in an ambulance, they walked past Le Chiffre on the front porch. As they passed him, court documents allege that he told his mother to not talk to anyone because was getting her a lawyer. She was later taken to the Police Operations Center, but police ultimately did not interview her that day.

From there, police obtained and executed a search warrant. They found Gilbert laying on the floor at the bottom of the stairs with head injuries, a baseball bat covered in blood was sitting next to him. Police also found a knife under Gilbert's right arm. There was blood spatter on the wall that looked similar to blood found on Marcella's skirt. Blood also covered parts of the handrails on the stairs and there were drops of blood in the kitchen and living room of the main floor.

An autopsy report details that most of Gilbert's blunt force injuries were found on his head, but he also had injuries to his abdomen and his arms, and one abrasion on his right thigh.

When police interview Le Chiffre, he said he was at his mother's house that morning, but that he left to help remodel on of his family's rental properties before his father got there. Le Chiffre said he found out about the incident when Long sent a text message to him saying, "Not good. Come here."

The court documents show that Le Chiffre began to sweat and shake, and was visibly upset during this interview. He eventually asked to leave. Police asked for Le Chiffre's cell phone to verify his conversation with Long, but he said no. It was then seized as evidence as police waited to get a search warrant.

When police interviewed the man Le Chiffre said he was with, the man said he had plans to meet Le Chiffre that morning, but he wasn't there. He ended up showing up later that afternoon after his father was found dead by police. The man said Le Chiffre appeared agitated and was sweating.

Roughly one month after Gilbert's death, police interviewed Marcella. She told them that her son, Le Chiffre, first mentioned the idea of killing his father to her in October of 2019. She said Gilbert cut Le Chiffre out of his will and if Marcella died first, Le Chiffre would not get any of the family's estate.

Court documents show the family owned 26 rental properties. Marcella also told police that another reason for killing Gilbert was that he was allegedly abusive to both Marcella and their two sons, including Le Chiffre.

A judge granted a permanent protection order more than a year before the killing, in May of 2019, protecting Marcella from Gilbert. The initial complaint shows Marcella told police that when she told her husband that she was depressed, he grabbed a pistol and told her to kill herself. He allegedly then told her that if she wasn't able to pull the trigger, he would do it for her. The complaint then alleges that he walked up to Le Chiffre and said, "I'll get you too. Don't think you are safe from me!"

The complaint details another incident where Marcella alleges that Gilbert stole $85,500 from her account when she was in the hospital. When she asked him to give it back, he refused. She reported that he then went to their bed, reached under his pillow, and picked up a loaded handgun. Then, she said he put it near her face and told her, "this is what I have on my side. I keep it for times like this."

The complaint says Marcella reported Gilbert was stalking her at a rehabilitation center. He would also throw things at her sometimes. Once, while he was drunk, she said he pushed her to the floor and kicked her legs, back, neck, and head.

A judge granted the permanent protection order, requiring Gilbert to stay at least 100 years away from Marcella at all times. It had no expiration date. Marcella filed for divorce the day after the protection order was granted. They were still in the process of finalizing their divorce when Gilbert died.

During Marcella's interview with police, she detailed her plan with Le Chiffre to kill Gilbert. She said they participated equally in the planning and talked about it roughly 10 times before executing the plan.

Marcella told police that she planned to invite Gilbert over to show him remodeling work on the house. While he was there, Le Chiffre planned to hide in the basement and wait for them to come downstairs. When they were about to walk down, she was supposed to run her fingers along the piano keys to warn him. Then, she would injure her arms to make it look like she was acting in self-defense when he died.

When Gilbert arrived, she started following the plan. When they started walking downstairs, Marcella felt someone push her down the last few steps. She then tried to get out of the way, knowing what was about to happen to Gilbert. She said she tried not to look, but heard Gilbert say "why" as her son beat him. Then she said her son grabbed her arms and hands and started cutting them. She then said she walked upstairs and started tending to her wounds, that's when Long arrived and called police.

When police tried to talk to Le Chiffre, he declined to comment. Given Marcella's failing health and inability to walk well on her own, police believe Le Chiffre was the main person involved in Gilbert's death. He was charged with First Degree Murder, and Marcella was charged with accessory.

Marcella ultimately took a plea deal and was sentenced to two years of probation. Le Chiffre pleaded not guilty on September 15, 2021. His trial is expected to begin in February of 2022. He will be held in the El Paso County Jail without bond as he awaits trial.

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Sydnee Stelle

Sydnee is an MMJ for KRDO NewsChannel 13. You can learn more about her here.

Comments

2 Comments

  1. To me case is funny why did he tell his mother nig to say anything he will get her a lawyer and why was there spattered blood on her skirt .it looks to me that son is innocent and covering for his mother

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