Broomfield County, CO
—Today, 17th Judicial District Attorney Brian S. Mason announced the First-Degree Murder conviction and life sentence of Ricardo Munoz-Diaz, 33. A Broomfield County jury convicted Mr. Munoz-Diaz on Friday, April 23, 2021, of First-Degree Felony Murder, Second Degree Murder, Aggravated Robbery-Wound or Strike, Aggravated Robbery, and two counts of Second-Degree Burglary after a five-day trial. The defendant was sentenced to life without parole at a sentencing hearing today.
“My heart truly breaks for this victim as well as her children, who are now left without a mother,” said District Attorney Brian Mason. “I cannot imagine the overwhelming fear she felt as she struggled for her life that horrible day.”
“Although it took six years to secure justice because of the defendant’s flight, I am grateful that justice was finally served. The defendant was motivated by money and greed and then fled from authorities after perpetrating this terrible crime. I appreciate the effort that went into extraditing Mr. MunozDiaz back from his hiding place in Mexico. And I appreciate the hard work of the prosecution team that led to this important verdict.”
On October 11, 2015, Ricardo Munoz-Diaz broke into the home of Amalia Karolina Lopez-Leon, 33, along E. Midway Boulevard in Broomfield, Colorado. Lopez-Leon was not home at the time of the initial break-in. Munoz-Diaz entered the victim’s home through a back door in an attempt to steal money from inside a safe in her residence. However, Munoz-Diaz was unable to open the safe and subsequently departed Lopez-Leon’s home. Munoz-Diaz previously lived in the same mobile home park as the victim and had come under the belief that she kept a large amount of cash in the safe.
On October 18, 2015, Munoz-Diaz returned to Lopez-Leon’s home to steal the contents inside the safe. Lopez-Leon was present when Munoz-Diaz arrived. The defendant made his way inside through the front door and immediately brandished a BB gun. He commanded the victim to open the safe, but Lopez-Leon was unable to do so. Munoz-Diaz proceeded to choke the victim and beat her with his BB gun.
During the struggle, Lopez-Leon made it to the kitchen where she was able to obtain a knife to defend herself. However, Munoz-Diaz stripped it away from her and stabbed the victim eight times in the chest and torso. Lopez-Leon fell to the kitchen floor where she later died. The victim suffered significant blunt-force trauma as well as stab wounds as deep as seven inches to her lungs, heart, liver, and stomach.
Munoz-Diaz departed the residence after he killed Lopez-Leon. The defendant returned later to collect the safe. Munoz-Diaz drove to a nearby lake and opened the safe. He discovered there was no money inside, only miscellaneous papers and documents, so he dumped the safe in the water and left the area. Munoz-Diaz also stole a purse and two watches from Lopez-Leon’s home. The defendant pawned the watches before departing to Mexico to hide out with his parents. Munoz-Diaz was eventually extradited back to Broomfield County in 2019.
On April 23, 2021, a Broomfield County jury convicted Ricardo Munoz-Diaz of FIRST-DEGREE FELONY MURDER, SECOND-DEGREE MURDER, AGGRAVATED ROBBERY-WOUND OR STRIKE, AGGRAVATED ROBBERY-KILL, MAIM, OR WOUND, and (2) two counts of SECOND-DEGREE BURGLARY. Munoz-Diaz was sentenced to life without parole for First-Degree Murder, 24 years for Second-Degree Murder, 12 years for Aggravated Robbery-Wound or Strike, 18 years for Aggravated Robbery-Kill, Maim, or Wound, 12 years for Burglary (Count 1), and 12 years for Burglary (Count 2). All of the sentences will run concurrently with the life without parole sentence. Chief Deputy District Attorney Rhoda Pilmer and Senior Deputy District Attorney Amy Petri-Beard led the prosecution of this case.
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.