A Colorado judge gave a life sentence this week to a man who dumped gasoline on his girlfriend before fatally lighting her on fire in front of her two sons.
John Vasquez, 34, of Arvada was sentenced on Tuesday for the 2016 killing of Christina Archuleta-Blasier at a campsite in the Arapahoe National Forest south of Idaho Springs. He was convicted of first-degree murder by arson and other charges back in April, The Denver Post reported.
Vasquez attacked his then-girlfriend on June 17, 2016.
“He chased her down and doused her with gasoline,” before setting her on fire, according to a press release by Fifth Judicial District Attorney Bruce Brown, who tried the case along with one other attorney.
The victim was flown by helicopter to a hospital in Aurora where it was determined that she suffered third-degree burns over sixty percent of her body. After fighting for her life for over a month, she died as a result of her injuries on July 20.
Archuleta-Blaser has three sons, two of which witnessed the attack and tried to rescue their mom. Both testified about the incident during the trial. The six-year-old suffered second-degree burns trying to help his mom. He has since recovered.
An argument at the campsite erupted between the couple after Vasquez started drinking, which violated his court-ordered terms. That argument led to the killing of Archuleta-Blasier, investigators believe.
Before the terrible attack, Vasquez was found guilty of domestic violence towards Archuleta-Blasier in October 2015. After that incident, she recorded audio of him saying it was "an accident" when he purposefully dropped and broke her television during a fight over the remote. That audio helped convince the jury in this case that the mother’s burning death — something Vasquez also said was "an accident," — was intentional, according to the District Attorney's office.
“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 Brown in his press release. “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.”
[Photo: Clear Creek County Sheriff's Office]