17th Judicial DA

Adams County Defendant Sentenced to 35 Years in Prison for 2021 Fatal Stabbing

April 23, 2024

Brighton, CO — Today, District Attorney Brian Mason is announcing the Second-Degree Murder conviction and 35-year Department of Corrections sentence for Louis Sandoval, 34, related to the fatal stabbing death of Thomas Downing on June 7, 2021. Adams County District Judge Jeffrey Smith sentenced Sandoval to 35 years in the Department of Corrections on April 19, 2024, following his guilty plea to Second-Degree Murder on January 25, 2024.  
On June 6, 2021, Sandoval met Downing at the Village Pub in Thornton. The two connected over their shared Marine Corps background. In the early morning hours of June 7, 2021, the defendant and the victim left the bar and walked to Downing's nearby apartment. At some point, Sandoval stabbed the victim once in the side of the chest and slashed his neck three times. At 3:40am, Thornton Police and Fire were dispatched to the victim's apartment along West 91st Avenue in response to a structure fire. Inside they found Downing's body. Through the course of an extensive investigation, the Thornton Police Department, along with help from the Regional Anti-Violence Enforcement Network, connected Sandoval to the crime using DNA evidence, surveillance footage, and cellular location data. 
On January 25, 2024, Sandoval pleaded guilty to Second-Degree Murder and the Sentence Enhancer of Violent Crime Causing Death/SBI. On April 19, 2024, Judge Smith sentenced Sandoval to 35 years in the Department of Corrections and said this was one of the more aggravated murders he had seen in his time on the criminal bench.  
"The brutality and senselessness of this crime is beyond words," said District Attorney Brian Mason. "This defendant built a connection with the victim that evening and then, for reasons we may never know, murdered the victim in cold blood. I'm thankful to the Thornton Police Department and my team at the DA’s Office for their diligent work on this case." 
Senior Lead Deputy District Attorney Laura Anderson and Deputy District Attorney Cody Ruebel handled the prosecution of this case. 

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District Attorney Mason assumed the oath of office on January 12, 2021. The 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office endeavors to seek justice on behalf of the citizens of Adams and Broomfield counties in felony and misdemeanor cases. DA Mason and his staff are dedicated to transforming the criminal justice system to better serve the citizens of the 17th Judicial District.

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