Local man gets 43 years in prison

Guilty of 14 counts in range of crimes

Lucero Enlarge photo

Lucero

A La Plata County man has been sentenced to 43 years in prison after being found guilty of domestic violence, animal cruelty and branding a woman with a hot iron.

Louie Albert Lucero, 51, faced a minimum of 22 years and a maximum of 72 years in prison, prosecutors estimated before sentencing. A jury in February found him guilty of 14 counts, including felony assault, false imprisonment, motor-vehicle theft, violation of a protection order and cruelty to animals.

Prosecutors said Lucero engaged in a pattern of domestic violence dating back to at least 2000 that involved three women.

He was suspected of breaking the arms of two different women; using a toilet plunger to strike a woman in the ribs, legs and head; inflicting mental abuse by pointing a loaded gun at one woman and loading and unloading a rifle in front of another woman; slamming a woman’s head into the concrete at least 10 times; torturing a woman’s heeler-mix dog; and using a hot iron to brand his initials into two women, one of whom consented.

Deputy District Attorney Brian Imel on Friday asked District Judge David Dickinson to sentence Lucero to 45 years in prison, saying that would be long enough to keep him from becoming involved in another relationship that could be abusive.

Criminal offenders typically serve about 75 percent of their prison terms in the state Department of Corrections before becoming eligible for early release for good behavior.

Lucero maintained his innocence throughout the criminal proceedings.

He asked for leniency before sentencing.

His public defender, Faith Winstead, could not be reached for comment Monday.

shane@durangoherald.com

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