A man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for beating another man to death in an Aurora apartment.
Arapahoe District Judge Jeffrey Holmes on Thursday (Nov. 2) sentenced Dustin Freeman, 40, to 30 years in the Department of Corrections after Freeman pleaded guilty July 28 to second-degree murder, a Class 2 felony, for the death of Andres Hernandez, who was 19.
“At the time of this event, Mr. Freeman had consumed methamphetamine and alcohol,” Judge Holmes said in announcing the sentence. But that is “no justification to beat someone to death.”
Freeman had been dating a woman off and on. Hernandez was her roommate in the Aurora Hills Apartments on East Maple Avenue.
The relationship was volatile and sometimes violent; Freeman became jealous and possessive of the woman. Hernandez was fearful of Freeman and had barred him from the apartment.
But Freeman went to the apartment about 2:30 a.m. on May 16, 2016, looking for the woman, who was not home.
He encountered Hernandez, became enraged and forced himself into the apartment, where he savagely beat Hernandez.
Hernandez had recently come from Miami to Colorado, where he wanted to study aviation.
His mother came from Miami for the sentencing and asked the judge through a translator for a harsh sentence.
“He filled my life with happiness and surprises,” she said of her son. Freeman “killed my son and destroyed my life, as well.”
Hernandez’ mother described her son’s many health problems, but she said he never let them get in his way.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Elizabeth Oldham asked the court for the maximum sentence under the plea agreement. Freeman “beat the victim in a violent rage. He deserves 30 years in prison,” she said.
District Attorney George Brauchler said the outcome was appropriate.
“I cannot know the pain and suffering Mr. Hernandez’ family has gone through. I never want to know it, but it is obvious and eternal,” he said. “Murderer Freeman took the life of an innocent young man and deprived the community of all that this young man had to offer. Under Colorado’s convoluted and misleading sentencing laws, this murderer will likely do less than 30 years … but the victims and the public won’t get to know how much less until he’s released from prison. Freeman deserves to serve 30 years in prison.”