Man gets 5 years for Glenwood Springs tire iron attack
Daniel Hernandez-Pineda will serve five years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree assault for attacking his ex’s new boyfriend with a tire iron in a downtown Glenwood Springs parking lot.
He will receive credit for 412 days served on the sentence, which will be followed by three years of parole and may be accompanied by restitution.
Hernandez-Pineda, 39, of Glenwood Springs, was originally charged with first-degree attempted murder for repeatedly hitting Jesse Villagrana in the head with a jack handle, causing a brain hemorrhage that doctors said would likely have killed the man had it been left untreated.
“This defendant intended to hurt the victim and ultimately caused injury that could have resulted in the victim’s death,” Deputy District Attorney Anne Norrdin told Judge James Boyd in a sentencing hearing Tuesday morning.
According to Norrdin, Villagrana was in the driver’s seat of his car and was hampered by his seat belt when Hernandez-Pineda opened the door and began striking him. His girlfriend was in the passenger seat and helped Villagrana unbuckle and flee. Surveillance footage shows Hernandez-Pineda pursuing him as far as the front door of the nearby Alpine Bank.
Villagrana, Norrdin said, has since moved out of state and is no longer involved with Hernandez-Pineda’s ex. He was reportedly supportive of the plea agreement, although he found the jail term less than ideal.
Norrdin echoed the sentiment, but said Hernandez-Pineda’s lack of prior felony convictions played a role in the sentence.
Deputy public defender Molly Owens also spoke to a broader view of events.
“There was a long-term, ongoing dispute between all of the parties involved here,” she said. According to Owens, Villagrana had previously threatened Hernandez-Pineda with a gun, and several protection orders were in place between the parties involved.
“This fight occurred in a context, and that context colors for me the reasonableness of this disposition,” she said.
Judge Boyd also seemed to view the terms as appropriate.
“There are some kinds of crimes that, largely because the nature of the crime and the serious impact it has on the victim, it becomes appropriate to sentence someone to prison even for their first felony offense,” he said. “While it’s certainly fortunate that he did not die, the fact that he did not die was not a matter of any choice or restraint by you.”
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Update 6 a.m. Monday: I-70 eastbound was reopened between mile markers 105 and 114, New Castle to Glenwood Springs, just before 3 a.m. after an overnight closure due to a minor injury, multi-vehicle crash.