A Utah woman was sentenced Friday on the grounds of aiding her illegal immigrant husband as he took the lives of two Northern California sheriff’s deputies in 2014.
Janelle Monroy was sentenced by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Steve White after jurors rejected her argument that she had complied with her husband, Luis Bracamontes, solely on the basis of fear.
Though Monroy, 41, stated that her husband would have killed her if she didn’t help him, she was sentenced to nearly 50 years in prison.
“Ms. Monroy, you did not start this reign of terror,” White said. “But you joined in immediately after as an active participant.”
According to Fox News, after Bracamontes killed Sheriff’s Deputy Danny Oliver, Monroy willingly moved his assault-style rifle from vehicle to stolen vehicle just hours before he killed Detective Michael Davis Jr.
The California police officers were killed shortly after Bracamontes and Monroy arrived in Sacramento, “during what Monroy said was a wandering journey spurred by Bracamontes’ drug-infused paranoia,” Fox reported.
Bracamontes was reportedly “armed to the teeth, raving about killing people,” and regularly abused methamphetamine.
The murders themselves spurred nearly three years of “circus-like court proceedings,” The Sacramento Bee reported, as Bracamontes was seen laughing several times as he admitted he wished he could kill more cops.
Monroy, a U.S. citizen, and Bracamontes, a Mexican citizen who had been repeatedly caught entering the U.S. illegally, were married for 12 years, during which time she claims to have lived in fear of him.
“She’s not the person who killed law enforcement officers,” defense attorney Pete Kmeto said, noting that she was not the one to pull the trigger. “This client is not an evil person, this client has been victimized and has had a tough life.”
However, prosecutors pointed to Monroy allegedly having multiple affairs during her marriage.
“She did not commit a crime with the devil,” said Sacramento prosecutor Rod Norgaard, who insisted Monroy knew of her husband’s violent intent towards police officers. “She married him.”
“She’s not a hostage … she’s not some browbeaten person locked in a room,” Norgaard added, reminding jurors of surveillance footage that had been found and played in court.
The footage showed Monroy “caressing her husband” as she checked the two of them into motels on their journey from Utah to Sacramento, according to The Bee.
“She’s the CEO here,” the prosecutor added. “It’s pretty easy to see if you watch them together.”
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Bracamontes after he was convicted by a separate jury, and President Donald Trump has used this case to cite problems with America’s immigration system.
“I feel like my heart has been ripped out of my chest,” said Debbie McMahon, Davis’ mother.
Davis’ 24-year-old daughter, Samantha, said Monroy “took away my best friend, my rock … All I have left is the memories of my dad.”
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