BRIGHTON, Colo. (CBS4)– A man who admitted he shot his wife in the head and then walked away as she took her final breaths has been sentenced to 36 years in prison.

Hector Frias was sentenced to prison on Friday for second-degree murder in the shooting death of his wife in December 2015.

“This is a senseless and sad crime. As a result of the actions of Hector Frias, his four children are left without their mother and in effect have lost their father as well,” said District Attorney Dave Young in a statement. “This is a tragic case of domestic violence that will not be tolerated in Adams and Broomfield counties. The community is a safer place when we take offenders like him out of society.”

Norma Frias, 48, was found shot in the head in her husband’s Dodge Durango near East 74th Avenue and Washington Street on Dec. 20, 2015. The couple lived in Thornton and had been married for 34 years. They had been arguing at a bar before the shooting and evidence showed that Hector put a gun to his wife’s head and shot as she was driving the truck.

“She was still breathing when he just walked away,” Deputy District Attorney Brett Martin told the court at the sentencing hearing Friday.

Martin said that Frias walked to a liquor store where he bought two shooters of Fireball and went home. He told police that the shooting was an accident and that the gun accidentally fired when it fell and he picked it up.

Martin said that the marriage was deteriorating and Norma Frias had decided to leave her husband.

“Mr. Frias was not going to let her leave,” Martin said. “Instead, he put a gun to her head and executed her.”

The couple’s four children asked the judge to impose the minimum 24-year sentence under the plea agreement.

On Friday, Chief District Court Judge Patrick Murphy sentenced Frias to 36 years and called his actions “Cowardly– to shoot a defenseless woman, the mother of his own children, to leave her to die and then try to make up some story about it. The evidence demonstrates that this was not an accident. The defendant took his wife’s life and he left her there to die.”


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