A file photo of a blow torch.
Hide Caption

Judge sentences blow torch-using home invader to 67 years

Prosecutor: Defendant smiled while burning victim

a a a a
Share this story

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.

Copyright 2014 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Print this article

Comments

Hmm... It looks like you’re not a WCPO Insider. or Subscribe now to contribute!

More National News
GM faces another safety investigation
GM faces another safety investigation

General Motors is dealing with another government safety investigation. This time the car targeted is the 2014 Impala.

Internet TV case: Justices skeptical, concerned
Internet TV case: Justices skeptical, concerned

Grappling with fast-changing technology, Supreme Court justices debated Tuesday whether they can protect the copyrights of TV broadcasters to…

Airport security vulnerabilities not uncommon
Airport security vulnerabilities not uncommon

For all the tens of billions of dollars that the nation has spent on screening passengers and their bags, few airports made a comparable…

Supreme Court upholds ban on affirmative action
Supreme Court upholds ban on affirmative action

The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld Michigan's ban on using race as a factor in college admissions.

Infant found in Detroit home with dead mother
Infant found in Detroit home with dead mother

An infant is fighting for her life after she was left alone with her mother’s dead body for several days.

Netflix poised to raise prices after strong 1Q
Netflix poised to raise prices after strong 1Q

Netflix is preparing a sequel unlikely to be a hit with its subscribers. The Internet video service is about to raise its prices for the…

Grieving borrowers told to repay student loan
Grieving borrowers told to repay student loan

Some student loan borrowers who had a parent or grandparent co-sign the note are finding that they must immediately pay the loan in full if…

Earth Day: 6 ways to be greener right now
Earth Day: 6 ways to be greener right now

In honor of Earth Day, the Environmental Protection Agency has compiled a list of ways to start saving energy not just on April 22, but every day.

American wins Boston Marathon
American wins Boston Marathon

Meb Keflezighi wore the names of the four victims who died in 2013 on his running bib as he became the first American winner since 1985.

US marshal shoots defendant in federal court
US marshal shoots defendant in federal court

A U.S. marshal shot and critically wounded a defendant on Monday in a federal courthouse after the man rushed the witness stand with a pen at…