A judge in Colorado sentenced a man to life behind bars after he was convicted of multiple criminal counts including first-degree murder.
As the New York Post reported, Arvada resident John Vasquez poured gasoline on his then-girlfriend and set her ablaze in front of two of her three young children.
The incident occurred in June 2016 at a campsite in the Arapahoe National Forest.
The Arvada man’s act left Christina Archuleta-Blasier covered in burns. She was airlifted to an area hospital with third-degree burns covering more than 60 percent of her body and lingered in critical condition until dying about a month later.
Archuleta-Blasier’s 6-year-old son was also severely burned in the attack as he attempted to save his mother. Investigators say Vasquez laughed throughout the brutal ordeal.
Though Vasquez claimed the fire was sparked accidentally, a jury was allowed to consider evidence that he lied prior to a previous domestic violence conviction.
The jury decided Vasquez was responsible for the homicide and convicted him of crimes that Chief Judge Mark Thompson described as “senseless, sick, depraved and despicable.”
The crime reportedly stemmed from an argument between the man and woman regarding a court order Vasquez violated by drinking alcohol.
Among the other counts for which Vasquez was found guilty was child abuse causing serious bodily injury. He was sentenced to a 20-year term for that crime to be served consecutively with his life sentence.
Vasquez was also sentenced to one year for criminal impersonation.
[Featured image: John Vasquez/Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office]