DENVER (CBS4) – A judge on Tuesday sentenced Edward Romero to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder and dismemberment of a 16-year-old Denver girl.
Last month a jury found Romero guilty on all counts of killing Alicia Martinez after a party at his home in 2010.
Members of the victim’s family and friends cried in court as Judge William Robbins read the sentence, calling it “as horrible a case as I’ve ever seen.”
“The things you did … are completely unspeakable,” Robbins said.
Romero’s aunt told CBS4 she feels her son “fell through the cracks of the mental health care system.”
During Romero’s trial earlier this year the prosecution and defense agreed on many elements during the trial, including that Martinez was at Romero’s home that night but that something happened in the garage and he killed her and cut up her body. That’s where the similarities in the cases ended.
Romero’s lawyers claimed he doesn’t remember what happened before Martinez was killed because he blacked out. They said they believe he suffers from a trauma disorder called DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) from abuse he suffered in his life. Defense attorneys also claimed Romero that has been diagnosed with a personality disorder. They said that once Romero awoke from blacking out he saw that Martinez was dead and decided to conceal it and dismember her body.
Romero’s friend Manny Gonzales testified during the trial that Romero told him after the murder “I killed Alicia. She got out of line and I had to kill her.”
Francesca Pagliasotti, who was Romero’s girlfriend at the time, is serving a 10-year sentence after being convicted of charges including being an accessory to murder. Prosecutors said she helped clean up the crime scene.
Another woman who prosecutors said took Martinez to the party where the crime happened pleaded guilty to contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Jacque Perea said she left the teen at the party after a few hours. She was the first witness called to the stand during the trial.