Courier staff writer
ALAMOSA — An Alamosa woman accused of attempted second-degree murder pleaded guilty Thursday to a reduced charge, but she still faces a mandatory minimum of at least two and a half years in state prison.
Under a deal with the district attorney’s office, Sasha Chacon admitted that she was guilty of first-degree assault in the heat of passion.
The enhanced Class 5 felony is classified as an extraordinary risk crime and a crime of violence, so 12th Judicial District Judge Michael Gonzales is required under the law to impose a prison sentence.
“There is no coming in at sentencing and asking for something different,” he said Thursday, just before he formally accepted the 23-year-old woman’s plea.
In exchange for her plea, prosecutors dismissed the original charges of attempted second-degree murder, felony menacing, first-degree assault and two counts of “crime of violence.”
The court was originally set to review the latest motions in the case.
But Deputy Public Defender Amanda Hopkins said that if the matter had gone to trial, there was a good chance the prosecution could have proven Chacon was guilty of the original charges.
Deputy District Attorney Lara Reincke told the court that her office extended its plea offer after careful deliberations and discussions. In this case, prosecutors believe there are mitigating circumstances, including Chacon’s age and the fact that she does not have a prior criminal history.
Chacon has been in custody since July 7 of last year, following a report of a stabbing in the 500 block of Ninth Street.
When police officers arrived at the scene, they found the victim bleeding from her chest and covered in blood. Upon closer examination, they identified about five stab wounds to her body, including injuries to her chest and the upper nape of her neck. Her hands were also lacerated.
The woman, who appeared in court on Thursday to object to the plea deal, said she is still shaken by the incident.
“I don’t think it’s right,” she said. “I am scarred for life.”
During her brief remarks to the court, the woman said she feels like she can’t walk anywhere, and always looks over her shoulders wherever she goes.
She also has trouble eating and sleeping, and she remains unable to hold on to a job.
“It’s an everyday challenge; it’s an everyday thing I have to deal with,” she said.
The victim, who was 39 at the time of the assault, told authorities last year that she’d driven to the scene after a man phoned and asked her to pick him up from a bar.
Hopkins told the court that Chacon arrived at the scene with a knife and acted after she observed her boyfriend engaged in a “highly provocative act” with the victim.
But according to a police report on the incident, the victim and the man were simply in the middle of a conversation when Chacon opened the door to the woman’s car and screamed a profanity at her.
At that moment, the victim felt the first stab wound to her upper right chest.
A fight ensued, and eventually, the woman grabbed hold of the knife and bent it at the handle.
Her daughter rushed to the scene, and subdued Chacon until authorities arrived and separated the pair.
Police then tried to speak with Chacon. But she had little to tell them, except to say that she was “on a lot of drugs.” She also smelled strongly of alcohol, according to a police report on the incident.
Both women were taken to San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center for treatment of their injuries.
Judge Gonzales said Thursday that he clearly understands the victim in the case objects to the plea deal. He encouraged her to attend Chacon’s sentencing on April 8, and to further address the court at that time.
Chacon could face anywhere between two and a half years to a maximum of eight years in state prison.
The crime carries a potential fine of $1,000 to $100,000, as well as various court costs, and the court may also order her to pay restitution to the victim.
Under state law, parole in this case will be mandatory.