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Man who killed neighbor with plunger, gets life sentence

Edna Woodrum, 58, was found dead in April 2018 inside a Greeley apartment.

GREELEY, Colo. — A Greeley man was sentenced to the rest of his life in prison this week after a jury found him guilty of beating a woman to death in 2018 with a plunger handle.

Jesus Romero, 67, was sentenced Thursday. The day before, after a week-long trial, a jury convicted Romero of one count of first-degree felony homicide, one count of criminally negligent homicide, and one count of sexual assault.

He was accused of killing 58-year-old Edna Woodrum in his Greeley apartment.

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"Her big heart and trust for people is what killed her,” Jessica Bridgman, Woodrum's daughter, told the court during the sentencing. “She believed everyone was good, gave everyone a chance, was kind to everyone no matter their race, sex, or what they looked like. All she saw was a person. And, this trust and letting her guard down around this monster, cost her her life.” 

Credit: Family
Edna Woodrum

On April 25, 2018, Greeley police officers were called to the Birchwood Apartments, a senior living facility, after Romero called 911. He told dispatchers that Woodrum, his neighbor, was unresponsive in a pool of blood in his apartment. 

Credit: Weld County DA
Jesus Romero

When officers arrived, they found Woodrum naked, bloody and dead on the ground. There was also evidence of a struggle inside the apartment, and one neighbor reported hearing an argument and three loud thumps against the wall earlier in the evening.

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The defendant told police that Woodrum was in his apartment because she agreed to have sex with him. However, evidence showed that Romero and Woodrum were not in a relationship and had not socialized in the past. 

“It’s disgusting and repulsive,” Bridgman said. “He is a monster and shows in human form that evil does exist on this earth. The world needs to know evil can even be our next door neighbor and we must always be aware, at all times, no matter what.” 

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