BRIGHTON, Colo. (CBS4) – A judge on Tuesday morning sentenced a Commerce City man to 80 years in prison for second-degree murder and kidnapping.
Ezequiel Parilla Villalobos, 24, confessed he was drunk and high on cocaine when he dumped 14-year-old Gabrielle Acosta’s body after sexually assaulting, strangling and stabbing her last December.
Villalobos was Gabrielle’s sister’s fiancée and was supposed to be driving the young girl from her mother’s to another family home as part of the holiday celebrations.
Gabrielle’s family was in the courtroom with some of them wearing shirts with pictures of her on them.
The judge told Villalobos the sentence will “protect them from the vicious animal you are,” and added “you won’t see the light of day and don’t deserve to.”
The sentence is part of a plea deal to avoid a trial in order to spare the family from hearing the gruesome details of the case.
Gabrielle’s mother, Natalia Acosta-Valencia, said she feels some justice knowing that her daughter’s killer will spend the rest of his life behind bars.
“But I can’t forgive him yet. Only God Will. Only God can forgive him,” she said. “My son asks me all the time, ‘Mommy, why did Gabby die? And I tell him, ‘Because God wanted to take her and have another angel with him.’ “
Dave Young is the Adams County District Attorney and he told CBS4 that in his 22 years of prosecuting, this is the worst thing he’s seen.
“I want the family to remember Gabrielle for who she was, a 14-year-old girl and not what this person made of her,” he said.
Young said he considered the death penalty but he didn’t want the family to have to hear the details of the murder during a trial.
Villalobos did not speak in court but his attorneys said he is remorseful.