Woman gets 146 years for stabbing death

Amy Adamson

A 20-year-old woman was sentenced Wednesday to serve 146 years in prison for the January stabbing death of a man and her attempt afterward to hire a hit man to silence witnesses.

In handing down the sentence, District Judge Brian Flynn said a lengthy prison term for Amy Adamson was justified because of the aggravated nature of the death of 20-year-old Ramon Sandoval, Adamson’s actions after the fact and her extensive criminal record at a young age. Flynn said Adamson is unlikely to be rehabilitated.

“Some people just make huge errors in judgment,” Flynn told Adamson. “But you really did everything you could to ensure you wouldn’t be here today.”

It was Flynn who in 2008 gave Adamson a deferred sentence and probation after she pleaded guilty to felony criminal mischief. The sentence allowed her to remain free, but she had to wear an ankle monitor.

“A lot of that was based on your age,” Flynn said of the lighter 2008 sentence and what he said appeared to be good prospects for a turnaround in Adamson’s life.

“Quite frankly, you proved me wrong,” the judge said.

While returning a not-guilty verdict on a first-degree murder count, a jury on Nov. 19 convicted Adamson of second-degree murder, first-degree assault, tampering with evidence, and witness tampering. Sandoval’s body was found Jan. 16 in the parking lot of an Orchard Mesa apartment complex. Adamson’s defense claimed she acted in self-defense, while prosecutors suggested she believed Sandoval may have been flirting with her girlfriend.

In June, she was charged with two counts of solicitation to commit first-degree murder after prosecutors uncovered a letter written by Adamson to a friend, seeking help in killing witnesses. Jurors heard Adamson’s voice on a recorded phone call from the Mesa County Jail attempting to arrange the hits.

Adamson wept Wednesday as she told her friends, her family and Sandoval’s family that she was sorry.

“I don’t know what I can do further in my life to show that,” Adamson told the court.

Sandoval died of a 4 1/4-inch stab wound, puncturing the aorta and hitting near his spinal column, according to testimony. Flynn pointed to other trial testimony indicating she called Sandoval’s cellular phone after he’d been fatally wounded, but she ignored calls from Sandoval, apparently while he was dying.

“It was almost as though you thought he deserved it at that point,” the judge said.

Sandoval’s cousin, Lisa Espinoza, thanked the judge and prosecutors for Wednesday’s outcome.

“He’s going to be able to rest in peace now,” said Espinoza, who earlier noted, “There are no winners in this case.”


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