Immigrant pleads guilty to killing girlfriend's sister

BRIGHTON, Colo. - A 24-year-old immigrant faces 80 years in prison after pleading guilty to the kidnapping and killing of a Commerce City girl.

Ezequiel Padilla-Villalobos on Friday pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and second-degree kidnapping of a child as part of an agreement with prosecutors. He had faced first-degree murder charges.

Prosecutors say he killed 14-year-old Gabriela Acosta, who was his girlfriend's sister.

A Commerce City police affidavit showed Ezequiel Padilla-Villalobos, 24, told police he'd consumed 12 to 14 drinks and cocaine before the crime. It says he called 911 from a gas station after committing the crime.

The documents say the 24-year-old 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 wrote that he 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.

Padilla-Villalobos is scheduled for sentencing Nov. 12 in Adams County District Court.

After his arrest, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement requested that local authorities hold Padilla-Villalobos, a native of Chihuahua, Mexico,and indicated he is in this country illegally, The Denver Post reported earlier.

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