Final defendant sentenced in Basalt home invasion case
Twenty months after a Basalt home was invaded and the 75-year-old female occupant was threatened with a gun, the last of four defendants was sentenced Wednesday.
Pablo Castillo, 24, of Parachute, was sentenced to 14 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections. Castillo pleaded guilty to theft of $20,000 or more and conspiracy to commit burglary, both felonies. He was sentenced to serve 14 years for the first count and 12 years for the second count. The sentences will be served concurrently, so the 14-year sentence applies, according to the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
Castillo was sentenced in Eagle County District Court. After completing his prison sentence, Castillo will be required to spend a mandatory five years on parole, the District Attorney’s Office said.
“This has been a long, hard road for law enforcement, the victim and her family, and we are grateful to have been able to hold responsible those who committed these acts of terror upon an innocent community member,” District Attorney Bruce Brown said in a statement. “Sometimes a courtroom can be a place of healing, and we certainly hope that has been the case here.”
The home invasion occurred shortly before noon on Nov. 28. The 75-year-old female occupant emerged from the shower and was confronted by two assailants, at least one of whom was wielding a gun. The thieves made off with cash, jewelry and the victim’s cellphone. They threatened to return and kill her if she called police.
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The case was initially investigated by the Basalt Police Department. Further digging by investigators with the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office and District Attorney’s Office led to additional arrests.
Michael Hawkins, 25, of Parachute, and Sergio Sanchez, 24, of Rifle, were identified as the assailants who entered the home. Sanchez was sentenced to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to felony charges related to the home invasion. Hawkins was sentenced to 24 years in prison.
Rafael Vega-Sanchez, 18, was sentenced to serve six years in the Youthful Offender System, a prison for juveniles who have been charged and sentenced as adults. Vega-Sanchez and Castillo remained in the car and served as lookouts.
The victim spoke at the sentencing hearing and explained the significant toll the incident took on her sense of safety and well-being, according to the District Attorney’s Office. Castillo apologized to the victim and her family.
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A Mesa County man who attempted to assert the bogus “sovereign citizen” defense to cover for squatting in a Mountain Valley home in 2019 disavowed the doctrine Tuesday and was sentenced to prison.