Man sentenced to life plus 21 years after burning girlfriend to death in front of her children
GEORGETOWN — Christina Archuleta-Blasier just wanted to enjoy a camping trip with her sons.
John Vasquez, 34, of Arvada, doused her with gasoline and set her on fire on June 17, 2016. A jury convicted him in April, his second conviction for a criminally violent act against Aruchuleta-Blasier.
On Tuesday, June 19, Chief District Court Judge Mark Thompson called Vasquez’ acts “… senseless, sick, depraved and despicable …” and sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus 21 years.
“Shocking is that over 15,000 people a year are victims of domestic violence, and each year, a couple dozen will die at the hand of a so-called loved one,” said Bruce Brown, 5th Judicial District Attorney, who prosecuted the case with Bryan Garrett, Deputy District Attorney. “Christina, however, isn’t just a statistic. She was a loving mother and woman who leaves three children behind and a family that will always remember the joy she brought to this world.”
On June 17, 2016, Vasquez, of Arvada, doused Archuleta-Blasier with gasoline at a wilderness campsite during a late-night impromptu camping trip to the Barbour Forks area of the Arapahoe National Forest, south of Idaho Springs.
During an argument about his drinking and how it violated a court order, Vasquez chased her down, threw gasoline on her and lit her on fire.
The blaze left Archuleta-Blasier with third- and fourth-degree burns over 60 percent of her body. Her sons bravely tried to rescue their mother, calling first responders to the wilderness campsite. Her 6-year-old son suffered second-degree burns while attempting to extinguish the flames that were enveloping his mother. He has since fully recovered.
A Flight for Life helicopter rushed Archuleta-Blasier to the University of Colorado Hospital Burn Unit, where she fought to stay alive for 33 days. Finally, on July 20, 2016, she died without being able to communicate how she received her injuries.
This was not Vasquez’ first attack on Archuleta-Blasier.
Vasquez was convicted in October 2015 of domestic violence against Archuleta-Blasier. After that incident, Archuleta-Blasier recorded Vasquez making excuses for dropping and breaking her television when they argued over the remote control.
In the murder trial, Vasquez claimed that setting Archuleta-Blasier on fire was “an accident.” But when the jury heard the audio recording from the television incident, they became convinced that her burning death was no accident but an intentional act.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
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