The second episode of James Patterson’s ‘Murder Thy Neighbor’ follows the true story of the murder of Zach Sanders, who was a victim of a love affair gone wrong. A clandestine affair, a scorned woman, a rage-fuelled murder, the tragic loss of life resulting in two children rendered fatherless and another child whose mother was sent to prison convicted of killing her ex. It sounds like a crime thriller film, but it is the very real tragic incident that happened in Orange, New Jersey, 13 years ago in 2007. If you’re curious to know what actually happened in the Zach Sanders murder case, we have all the information for you right here.
How Did Zach Sanders Die?
Zachary Sanders, 33-year-old father of two, had been having an affair with Natasha White (then 32) for approximately three years before dumping her in 2007. Zach had ended his love affair with Natasha because he was engaged to marry the mother of his children and long-time girlfriend, Latoshia Renee Richardson. Zach and Renee (as Richardson is known) had been together for 11 years. Renee had apparently found out about Zach’s affair with Natasha two years prior and had believed that Zach had ended it. But their secret relationship had continued for two more years, ultimately coming to an end in 2007.
Feeling utterly scorned and filled with rage, Natasha had picked a drunken fight with Zach outside the Rubicon Pub in Orange, NJ, nine days prior to the fateful night of Zach’s death. While driving by the pub, Renee had seen her fiance arguing with Natasha, so she stopped and got out of her car. Renee and Zach’s friend Desmond Jones testified to eyewitness accounts for March 31, 2007, when Natasha had rammed her car twice into Zach’s parked car and the third time she had tried to run over Zach and Renee but they had jumped out of the way at the last minute.
Who Killed Zach Sanders?
Zach wasn’t so lucky nine days later, on April 09, 2007, outside the same bar at Lincoln Avenue and Main Street in Orange. Natasha, drunk and angry, had again picked a fight with Zach and was seen raging at him before getting into her Lexus and running over Zach. According to eyewitness accounts, Zachary had been flipped in the air and was banging on the hood of the car shouting for Natasha to stop. Reportedly, she floored the accelerator and did not stop. Zachary’s body was dragged several feet down the road. Within mere minutes of the horrific incident, Zachary was pronounced dead with a crushed chest.
In court, Natasha White pleaded not guilty of murder, saying that what happened outside the Rubicon Pub had been an accident and not a premeditated murder. According to her, she had just been trying to drive away when Zach had jumped on the hood of her Lexus and she had gotten scared that he was too drunk and intended to hurt her. In her supposed fright, Natasha had floored the gas pedal, not realizing in all the frenzy of the moment that Zach had been crushed under her car.
During her trial, Natasha addressed members of the Sanders family and told them that she really loved Zach and could never have intentionally hurt him. The judge and the jury, however, were not convinced of Natasha’s innocence. The jury convicted Natasha White of 10 counts, including murder, vehicular homicide, aggravated assault, criminal mischief, possession of a weapon (vehicle) for an unlawful purpose, operating a vehicle while revoked, simple assault, and other charges. The trial lasted for five weeks and the jury deliberated for two days. The judge sentenced her to 40 years in prison. She would be eligible for parole after serving 85% of her sentence.
Read More: Where is Natasha White Now?