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Salem man gets life in prison for murder of ex-girlfriend

November 30, 2017

This undated file photo provided the Marion County Sheriff's office shows Cristian Acosta. Acosta, who pleaded guilty to killing his 20-year-old ex-girlfriend, has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance for parole. (Marion County Sheriff via AP, file)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon man who killed his 20-year-old ex-girlfriend has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance for parole.

The Statesman Journal reports Cristian Acosta addressed the victim’s family Wednesday, saying: “I did love Lucia Pamatz.”

Pamatz knew Acosta was dangerous and filed a restraining order against him in June 2016. Three months later, she was fatally shot, execution style, at her family’s Salem home while a 911 dispatcher listened to her beg for her life.

Acosta fled the state and was arrested trying to cross into Canada. In September, one year after the killing, he pleaded guilty to aggravated murder.

Marion County Judge Courtland Geyer said the facts supported a life sentence.

An attorney for the 24-year-old Acosta unsuccessfully argued for the possibility of parole after 30 years. Spencer Todd said his client accepted responsibility by pleading guilty and 30 years in prison could have a positive impact.

“We cannot know what kind of person he will be in 30 years,” Todd said.

During his statement, Acosta said he and Pamatz got matching tattoos, looked at wedding rings and talked about starting a family.

“Talking about Lucia hurts because I know I’ll never see her again,” Acosta said. “That hurts me more than anything.”

His words were cut short as the sobs of Pamatz’s mother filled the room.

The judge ordered an early break, and the mother stayed outside the courtroom when Acosta finished addressing the court.

Acosta said he was in a rage and out of his mind when he broke into the home and shot Pamatz. He apologized to her relatives.

Prosecutor Jennifer Gardiner said Pamatz’s murder involved extensive planning and cruelty and was not spontaneous. Moreover, his past actions showed a repeated history of physical and sexual abuse.

“The 911 call tells us everything we need to know,” she said.

Acosta broke into her home and fired several shots into the bathroom where Pamatz was hiding. By some miracle, she wasn’t hit, Gardiner said.

When Acosta opened the door, “that was his moment for grace, that was his moment for mercy,” she said.


Information from: Statesman Journal, http://www.statesmanjournal.com

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