Detective's lover eyed in murder case

Posted: October 09, 2013

ON PAPER, IT sounded fairly routine.

An arrest warrant was issued yesterday afternoon for Erica Sanchez, a 33-year-old from Crescentville, in connection with a month-old murder case.

But this homicide investigation is anything but normal.

Sanchez' boyfriend is longtime Homicide Unit Detective Ronald Dove, who was placed on desk duty while being investigated by Internal Affairs for allegedly aiding Sanchez after a man named Cesar Vera was found stabbed to death in North Philly on Sept. 8.

While the Internal Affairs investigation continues to unfold, the District Attorney's Office is mulling how to respond if Dove is called in the meantime to testify at other criminal trials.

"Those decisions would be made on a case-by-case basis," Tasha Jamerson, spokeswoman for District Attorney Seth Williams, said yesterday.

Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey said Dove, a 16-year veteran of the force who has worked in Homicide since 2005, should be able to testify in court because he hasn't been charged with a crime.

Ramsey said Dove told one of his supervisors that he was involved in a romantic relationship with Sanchez, who lives on Devereaux Street near Rising Sun Avenue, before the Sept. 8 slaying of Vera, who was Sanchez' ex-boyfriend.

Internal Affairs is looking into the possibility that Dove moved Sanchez' car in the hours after the murder, Ramsey said.

NBC10 reported that Sanchez allegedly called Dove for help after the slaying, and that he allowed her to use his car, while also advising his colleagues to "go easy on her."

"It's a concern, if in fact he did something wrong," Ramsey said.

"At this point in time, we don't have anything to indicate that he's directly involved [with the murder]," he said. "It all boils down to what did he know, and when did he know it."

On Twitter: @dgambacorta

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