Leadville resident Maria Day was sentenced to a total of 54 years in prison for multiple charges stemming from the 2015 murder of John Martinez.
Judge Catherine Cheroutes sentenced Day to 35 years for second degree murder, a class two felony; 12 years for leaving the scene of an accident involving death, a class three felony; six years for vehicular homicide/reckless driving, a class four felony; and one year for careless driving resulting in death, a class one misdemeanor.
After her arrest in 2015 on charges of murder, Day’s trial was delayed several times due to court orders for mental health assessments and an inability to select a jury in Lake County.
The trial was moved to Clear Creek County, where Day was found guilty of the charges in February. The August 19 sentencing took place in-person in Clear Creek County with limited attendance to abide by social distancing protocols.
The prosecution pushed for the maximum sentence of 48 years in prison for the second degree murder charge. Martinez’s siblings spoke as witnesses for the prosecution at the sentencing. Each person who spoke called for the maximum possible sentence for Day, repeatedly voicing their desires for Day to suffer.
The defence urged the court to be lenient on Day, citing her struggles with mental health, which they claimed were exacerbated by the legal process, and the burden it imposed on Day.
“The fact of the matter was that this event was gruesome,” Cheroutes said in assessing the case before sentencing.
The court ordered Day to serve the sentences concurrently with credit for time served between her arrest and her sentencing.