Assault took place in front of Southern Ute Police Station
DENVER – Christopher L. Romero, age 36, of Ignacio, Colorado, was sentenced on April 4, 2011, by U.S. District Judge Marcia S. Krieger to serve 37 months in federal prison for committing domestic assault by an habitual offender. After serving his prison sentence, Romero was ordered to serve 3 years on supervised release. Romero appeared at the hearing in custody, and was remanded immediately after being sentenced. The sentencing was handled via video conferencing, with U.S. District Judge Krieger and the defendant and his counsel in Denver, and Assistant U.S. Attorney James Candelaria in Durango.
Romero was charged by Criminal Complaint on August 27, 2010. He was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on September 15, 2010. He pled guilty before Judge Krieger on December 22, 2010, and was sentenced on April 4, 2011.
According to the stipulated facts contained in plea agreement, on August 25, 2010, Romero met his ex-wife in the parking lot in front of the Southern Ute Police Department. The purpose of the meeting was for the defendant to bring their son, who had been staying with the defendant, back to the boy’s mother, who in turn was to take the child back to Arizona, where she resides. According to witness accounts, while the two were arguing, the defendant struck his ex-wife’s face with his hand, causing her sunglasses to fall off of her face. An eye-witness to the dispute called the police department dispatch. Officers stationed inside the police department responded and arrested the defendant without incident.
Further investigation revealed that Romero had been previously convicted of domestic violence in La Plata County on July 10, 1998 and on January 12, 2005. Both cases involved his spouse/ex-spouse.
“In response to the problem of domestic violence on reservations, Congress changed federal law to address habitual domestic violence offenders in Indian Country. This case is the first in Colorado to enforce that new law, in order to protect domestic violence victims – domestic abusers should take note of the stern sentence handed down by Judge Krieger,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh.
This case was investigated by the Southern Ute Police Department.
Romero was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James Candelaria.