On May 17, 2012, one day after we marked the three-year anniversary of our Mile High Murder archive, a man robbing a Commerce City jewelry store fatally shot its owner, Bernardo Saenz, and fled, prompting a citywide manhunt and media blitz.
Just shy of two years later, Anton Valdez has been convicted, and tomorrow afternoon, he'll learn the length of his sentence.
Get details and see photos and more below.
The incident took place at Joyeria Alondra, located at 5908 E. 64th Avenue in the Plaza México shopping center. The area is captured in the following interactive graphic; if you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."
View Larger Map
According to the 17th Judicial District Attorney's Office, Saenz was in a back room of the store when he heard glass breaking -- and when he came out, he was shot four times at close range.
The two men split, but not before having their images captured by surveillance cameras. Shortly thereafter, the Commerce City Police Department released the following pics:
The cops subsequently determined that Valdez was the man who pulled the trigger -- and yesterday, he was convicted of first-degree murder after deliberation, first-degree felony murder, two counts of aggravated robbery and two counts of conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery.
What happened to Valdez's cohort? Sue Lindsay with the DA's office tells us he remains at large and has never been identified by Valdez.
He may not be a squealer, but he'll soon be a long-term inmate. Valdez is scheduled to be back in Adams County District Court at 1:30 p.m. to receive his sentence.
Our condolences to Saenz 's friends, family and loved ones. Here's a larger look at Valdez's mug shot.
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Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
More from our Mile High Murder archive circa May 2012: "Joyeria Alondra owner killed in apparent robbery in Commerce City (1)."