COMMERCE CITY, Colo. - The man who turned himself in after allegedly stabbing his girlfriend's teenage sister to death with a kitchen knife will spend 80 years in prison for the crime.
Ezequiel Padilla-Villalobos, 24, was sentenced Tuesday to the prison term after pleading guilty to second-degree murder and second-degree kidnapping. He was originally charged with the first-degree murder and felony murder.
The victim, Gabriella Acosta, was a freshman at Broomfield High School and the younger sister of Padilla-Villalobos' girlfriend.
Before the guilty plea, court documents indicated that Padilla-Villalobos told police he was at a bar near East 70th Avenue and Pecos Street on Dec. 23 when his girlfriend called. She asked him to pick up her 14-year-old sister in Broomfield.
Padilla-Villalobos agreed and drove there in his Ford pickup truck.
Commerce City police document said Padilla-Villalobos told them he started having "bad thoughts" about killing the teenager as he drove her to a family member's home. Padilla-Villalobos pulled over at a horse farm at 8690 Verbena St., where he'd previously done some work.
He parked the truck, leaned over and started strangling the girl, according to the affidavit. Somehow she escaped the truck, the document said, but Padilla-Villalobos caught her and continued trying to strangle her until he decided it wouldn't work.
In the end, Padilla-Villalobos said he stabbed her five times with a knife that he told police he'd recently used for cutting vegetables. The knife was left in the girl's neck.
At Tuesday's sentencing, Adams County District Judge Katherine Delgado told Padilla-Villalobos the sentence was necessary to protect the family and society from "the vicious animal that you are. You will never see the light of day again and you don’t deserve to."