Judge sentences blow torch-using home invader to 67 years

Prosecutor: Defendant smiled while burning victim

CENTENNIAL, Colo. - A man who invaded an Aurora, Colo. home, cut the occupant with a knife and tortured him with a propane torch was sentenced Thursday to a total of 67 years behind bars.

Julio Francisco Vasquez was convicted on eight counts ranging from aggravated burglary and assault to felony imprisonment.

Prosecutors say Vasquez plotted to assault and rob Michael Diehl in retribution for the unwanted attention and treatment  Diehl gave to Vasquez's girlfriend, Kara O'Brien.

O'Brien worked as a stripper at The Penthouse in Glendale.

Prosecutors say Vasquez plotted with O'Brien, and two other defendants -- Jose Talamantes and Louie Leon -- to rob Diehl and steal his drugs.

O'Brien went to Diehl's house under the guise of giving him a massage.

While she was sitting on him, she texted Vasquez and gave instructions on how to get to the house.

Once the other three men arrived at the apartment, O'Brien unlocked the door and turned up the music.

The home invaders tied Diehl's hands and feet with packaging tape. Two of them searched the apartment for drugs while Vasquez and O'Brien tortured Diehl.

Prosecutors say Vasquez found a blowtorch outside Diehl's front door.  They say he grabbed it, shut off the lights and smiled as he burned Diehl on his arms, legs and back.

"He was depraved," prosecutors said.

The victim told Scripps sister station 7NEWS in Denver, Colo. that he's glad the case has been resolved and that justice has been served.

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