Ally Raber’s family waited nearly four years. On Thursday, they sat in an Arapahoe County courtroom and listened as a judge imposed sentence on the man who killed her.
And they went home without her, as they always do and always will.
“Nothing will change the reality that I am the parent of a murdered child, and I am the one with a life sentence,” Raber’s mother told the judge.
Arapahoe District Court Judge Shay Whitaker sentenced Arturo Garcia, 24, to 60 years in the Colroado Department of Corrections. He pleaded guilty April 7 to second-degree murder in Raber’s death. Other counts were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.
“This was a domestic violence power-and-control relationship, and (Garcia) exercised the ultimate power over her when he killed her,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Gary Dawson told the court during the June 17 hearing during which he asked for the maximum sentence allowed under the plea agreement. “There is an extraordinary history of domestic violence.”
Aurora police officers found the body of Alexandrea Victoria Raber in a motel room when they responded to a maid’s 911 call on July 2, 2017. Raber had been strangled; she was 18 years old. Garcia left her body where he killed her and fled to Mexico.
The investigation revealed that Raber and Garcia had been a couple in which Garcia had a history of domestic abuse. Garcia was on probation for hurting Raber when he killed her. In the hotel room, police found Garcia’s driver’s license and numerous court documents from his prior case, including the probation paperwork and the protection order forbidding him to have contact with Raber.
“She truly believed she could help him,” her stepfather told the judge. “He took advantage of that innocence, and when he could no longer control her, he ended her life.”
Garcia was expelled from Mexico and appeared in court to face charges in Raber’s death in June 2019. The pandemic delayed the court proceedings.
“This defendant previously pleaded guilty to hurting Ally. He admitted that abuse and could have used that opportunity to learn from his mistakes,” said District Attorney John Kellner. “He chose not to take the path of rehabilitation, and instead he killed Ally – by all accounts an extraordinary young woman with great things in front of her.
“The way Ally’s family has responded and the strength they have shown is testament to the difference she made in the world.”
Dawson prosecuted the case with Deputy District Attorney Lisa Gramer.
Whitaker sentenced Garcia to the maximum 48 years in prison on the murder count and 12 years on the “tampering with a witness” case where his felony probation was revoked, to be served consecutively.