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Man convicted of killing couple given two life sentences

William Roberts, 55, was convicted Wednesday of killing Deborah and Ruben Vallejos.
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GREELEY, Colo. — A man convicted of murdering a couple in their home outside Erie was given two consecutive life sentences Friday.

According to a release from the Weld County District Attorney's Office, 55-year-old William Joseph Roberts was found guilty Wednesday of murdering Deborah and Ruben Vallejos in 2019. They were letting Roberts live with them at the time, the release said. 

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“These people stepped in and helped him out and this is how he repaid them,” Deputy District Attorney Yvette Guthrie said during Friday’s sentencing hearing. “He stole two lives and forever changed their family. Nothing will ever bring these victims back, but I think justice in this case is two consecutive life sentences.”

The release said sheriff's deputies were called to the Vallejos' home in June 2019 after Ruben Vallejos' sister said she couldn't get in touch with him for several days.

Credit: Weld County Sheriff's Office
William Joseph Roberts

When deputies arrived, the release said, they found Deborah Vallejos, 59, on the floor dead and covered by a blanket. Ruben Vallejos, 65, was found dead in his bed also covered by a blanket, according to the release. 

The release said they had both been beaten with a pipe and died from blunt force trauma to the head.

Roberts said he had been in an argument with the couple and claimed Deborah Vallejos had been "mean," according to the release. He said he killed Ruben Vallejos because he wanted to "put him out of his misery," the release said.

“I don’t have the strength or the wisdom to even find the right words to convey my condolences to the victims’ family here today,” Weld District Court Judge Timothy Kerns said during the sentencing hearing. “It’s just heartbreaking. It’s senseless to not choose other alternatives to handle the matter. Life is precious which is why the legislature has made it clear that if you engage in first-degree murder, you’ll never leave prison.”

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