Roberto Santistevan gets beating from neighbors, life without parole for fatal stabbing

Roberto Santistevan's booking photo was prominently featured in our most memorable mug shots of 2011 post, for obvious reasons: He was injured when while being subdued by neighbors, as detailed in a document below. But the damage he inflicted while stabbing Crystal Crespin to death was infinitely worse -- which explains why he's been convicted on multiple counts, including first-degree murder, and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

According to the probable cause statement included here, Denver Police officers responded to the 1000 block of South Eliot Street at around 9:35 p.m. on August 7. In an apartment there, they found Crespin suffering from multiple stab wounds. She was pronounced dead at Denver Health less than half an hour later.

Also on hand at the apartment was Santistevan -- not that he was particularly happy about being there. A number of neighbors were holding him until the cops arrived.

What happened? One witness said that he heard a loud argument in a nearby apartment, and when he looked through the window, he saw Santistevan, who he knew as Bobby, apparently punching someone.

He and another neighbor responded by breaking down the door, and they soon made a horrific discovery: Bobby wasn't actually slugging the victim, but stabbing her in the back.

At least two additional neighbors told police they, too, saw Crespin being knifed by Santistevan, who allegedly responded to the sight of intruders by charging toward one of them. That man fended him off by throwing a glass similar to a coffee cup, and it found its target, hitting Santistevan in the face.

The witness added that after being seized, Santistevan made multiple attempts to escape from the clutches of his neighbors, prompting one of them to kick him in the face and the chest to prevent him from splitting.

Now, of course, Santistevan will have an entirely new set of neighbors. Here's a larger look at his booking photo, followed by the probable cause statement.

Roberto Santistevan Probable Cause Statement

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More from our Mile High Murder archive: "Roberto Santistevan busted in fatal stabbing of Crystal Crespin on S. Eliot (17)."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts