DENVER - Sentencing for the man convicted of shooting, killing and dismembering a 16 year old has been delayed. The judge in the case has had a family emergency.
Last month, jurors found Edward Romero guilty of first-degree murder, abuse of a corpse and tampering with physical evidence following a two-week long trial.
Prosecutors expect Romero will be sentenced to life in prison when the sentencing is rescheduled.
The victim's family said they will be in court.
“I just want to see him walking into prison knowing that that’s going to be his permanent home,” victim Alicia Martinez' mother, Vanessa Martinez, said.
Alicia Martinez had accompanied a friend to a party at Romero’s house on Oct. 22, 2010.
Romero's ex-girlfriend, Francesca Pagliasotti, testified that she later she saw Martinez' "body with a gunshot wound to the head" lying on a sofa in the garage.
She told the jury she begged Romero to turn himself in but he refused. Pagliasotti said she then saw Romero dismember the teenager's body. Pagliasotti was sentenced to 10 years for being an accessory to murder and abuse of a corpse.
During the trial, the prosecution quoted doctors who determined that Romero may have been suffering from bipolar disorder at times, but he was not psychotic or insane.
A defense attorney said every doctor Romero had seen noted the same symptoms, but came up with different diagnoses. The defense said Romero suffers memory loss and blackouts, hears voices and suffers from both insomnia and panic attacks.
The doctor who finally figured it out, the attorney said, was one who specialized in dissociative disorders. The defense said Romero doesn't have multiple personalities, but instead has one conscious mind that is broken.
Vanessa Martinez said she believed all along that Romero was faking his mental illness.
“I’m relieved," Martinez said after the verdict in February. “I’m happy my daughter got her justice.”
Family members said what they'll remember most about Alicia was “Her smile, her laugh. She loved kids.”