Man Gets Life for Killing Girlfriend by Setting Her on Fire in Front of Kids

A Colorado man has officially been sentenced to life in prison after setting his girlfriend on fire in front of her children in 2016.

John Vasquez was on a camping trip with his girlfriend, Christine Archuleta-Blasier, and her two sons -- one of them just six years old at the time. According to a report by the Denver Post, Vasquez was prohibited from drinking alcohol by a court order when he entered the Arahahoe National Forest for the trip in June of 2016.

That didn't stop him from having a drink, however, and Vasquez was soon embroiled in a heated argument with Archuleta-Blasier. Before long, he had doused her in gasoline and set her ablaze. Archuleta-Blasier's body was reportedly 60 percent covered in third degree burns.

In desperation, her 6-year-old son reportedly ran forward to try and put her out, only to catch fire himself. He, too, suffered from severe burns, and the arrest affidavit claims that Vasquez himself laughed at this.

Still, Vasquez and his lawyers tried at first to argue that the fire was accidental. Prosecutors countered this with evidence showing how he had lied in a previous domestic violence incident. Jurors were quickly convinced that the fire in 2016 had been set intentionally.

Vasquez, now 34, received a life sentence for the first-degree murder, and an additional 20 years in prison for child abuse causing serious bodily injury. He also got another year sentence for criminal impersonation.

Archuleta-Blasier passed away from her injuries. She left behind three children, and a large family, many of whom were present at Vasquez's sentencing. Her sons went into the care of their father and his new wife.

"Shocking is that over 15,000 people a year are victims of domestic violence, and each year a couple dozen will die at the hand of a so-called 'loved one,'" said District Attorney on the case Bruce Brown. "Christina however, isn't just a statistic. She was a loving mother and woman who leaves three children behind, and a family that will always remember the joy she brought to this world."

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At his sentencing, Chief Judge Mark Thompson described Vasquez's actions as "senseless, sick, depraved and despicable," according to reporters.

Vasquez had already been found guilty of criminal mischief and an act of domestic violence against Archuleta-Blasier in October of 2015, according to a news release by the Colorado Fifth Judicial District Attorney's Office.