BROOMFIELD, Colo. — A man found guilty of murdering a 33-year-old Broomfield woman in 2015 has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Amalia Karolina Lopez-Leon was found stabbed and bludgeoned to death on Oct. 18, 2015, in her mobile home at 2885 E. Midway Blvd.
Last week, Ricardo Enrique Munoz-Diaz, 33, was convicted by a Broomfield County jury of the following charges related to her murder:
- 1st degree felony murder
- 2nd degree murder
- Aggravated robbery wound or strike
- Aggravated robbery kill, maim or wound
- 2nd degree burglary (two counts)
Eight days before Lopez-Leon's death, she reported a burglary to the Broomfield Police Department (BPD) in which a large gun safe had been tampered with inside her home, BPD said at the time. The safe weighed approximately 480 pounds empty, police said.
Police said Munoz-Diaz previously lived in the same mobile home park as the victim and had come under the belief that she kept a large amount of cash in the safe.
During the investigation into her death, BPD detectives found that the safe was missing, as was a gold Michael Kors clutch purse that was presumed to contain her personal information, BPD said. Two watches were also stolen from Lopez-Leon's home.
Investigators later learned Lopez-Leon was stabbed eight times while trying to defend herself against Munoz-Diaz on Oct. 18, 2015. Munoz-Diaz left the home after the murder but later returned to collect the safe, eventually dumping it into a lake after discovering there was no money inside, according to the 17th Judicial District Attorney's Office.
Prosecutors say Munoz-Diaz then pawned the watches before departing to Mexico to hide out with his parents. He was extradited from Mexico to Broomfield County in August 2019.
“My heart truly breaks for this victim as well as her children, who are now left without a mother,” said 17th Judicial District Attorney Brian S. Mason after the verdict. “I cannot imagine the overwhelming fear she felt as she struggled for her life that horrible day.”
“Although it took six years to secure justice because of the defendant’s flight, I am grateful that justice was finally served," Mason said. "The defendant was motivated by money and greed and then fled from authorities after perpetrating this terrible crime. I appreciate the effort that went into extraditing Mr. Munoz-Diaz back from his hiding place in Mexico. And I appreciate the hard work of the prosecution team that led to this important verdict.”
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