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Man who attacked wife in front of their children gets 23 years

Manuel Casias broke down the door of his estranged wife's residence and attacked her in the middle of the night, prosecutors said.
Credit: Jefferson County DA
Manuel Casias

GOLDEN, Colorado — A man who brutally attacked his estranged wife while their two young children watched was sentenced to 23 years in prison, according to the First Judicial District Attorney's (DA) Office.

Manuel Joseph Casias, 44, was sentenced Wednesday in connection with two assaults on his estranged wife in April of last year.

A Jefferson County jury found him guilty following a trial in November.

Casias was charged for two incidents and the cases were tried together.

On April 6, 2019, just before 2 a.m., Lakewood police were called to 12135 W. Nevada Dr. on a report of a domestic violence disturbance, according to a release from the DA's office. Neighbors reported loud banging and children screaming for help.

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Police found the 29-year-old victim covered in blood and barely conscious.

The victim woke up that morning to Casias banging at her door and cursing, according to prosecutors. They were in the process of getting a divorce and he did not live with her.

Casias broke through the front door as the victim and their children, ages 5 and 8, hid in the bedroom. The DA's office said he attacked her and as she tried to escape he slapped, punched, and kicked her. 

Prosecutors said he slammed her head against furniture and into a reptile habitat causing a severe head injury. He then strangled her until she began to lose consciousness.

The children begged him to stop as they witnessed the assault, according to prosecutors.

Casias left the apartment before police arrived, but was arrested a short time later when he tried to sneak back in, according to the DA's office.

One day prior, Casias assaulted the victim at the same apartment, prosecutors said. He was not allowed inside, but his mother had a key because she had helped with child care.

His mother gave the key to Casias, who went in and attacked the victim who was there with a friend, attorneys said.

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For the second assault, the jury convicted Casias of two counts of first-degree burglary, first-degree assault, second-degree kidnapping, second-degree assault, first-degree criminal trespass, criminal mischief and two counts of child abuse.

For the other assault, he was convicted of first-degree burglary, third-degree assault, and first-degree trespassing.

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