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Man gets 25 to life for hitting woman with tortilla pan while she slept

Deshawn Avila, 24, was convicted on five counts related to the attempted murder and sexual assault in 2018.

AURORA, Colo. — A 24-year-old man was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison after being convicted of attacking a sleeping woman with a metal tortilla pan in Aurora, the 17th Judicial District Attorney's Office said Thursday.

Deshawn Avila, 24, was convicted by an Adams County jury Feb. 11 on five counts:

  • Second-degree attempted murder
  • Two counts of attempted sexual assault
  • First-degree assault - strangulation
  • First-degree assault - serious bodily injury with a deadly weapon

In September 2018, Avila and the victim went to a bar in Denver for a night out. Avila and the victim were close family friends, and she considered him to be her cousin even though they were not related, the district attorney's office said.

When they returned to her home, Avila went to sleep in the victim's room, while she went to sleep in her son's room, according to the district attorney's office.

Avila entered the child's room during the night and hit the victim in the head with a metal tortilla pan. The victim woke up as blood ran from a large gash on her forehead and discovered her pants had been lowered, the district attorney's office said.

Credit: 17th Judicial District Attorney's Office


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The victim tried to get away but initially was unable to as Avila assaulted and strangled her. She was eventually able to escape. Avila left the home and was later arrested, according to the district attorney's office.

Avila will have to serve at least a 20-year parole period if he is released from prison.

“For this defendant to ambush his close friend in the middle of the night, smash her in the head with a tortilla pan, attempt to sexually assault her and then strangle her is truly beyond explanation,” said District Attorney Brian Mason. “The victim has suffered enormously, and I’m hopeful this verdict will provide some semblance of closure to this horrifying event.”

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