Courier staff writer
ALAMOSA — A woman who pleaded guilty earlier this year to first-degree assault in a crime of passion was sentenced on Monday to six years in state prison.
Sasha Chacon previously admitted she stabbed another woman last July in a fit of jealousy, thereby avoiding a more serious charge of attempted second-degree murder.
The 23-year-old Alamosa woman took full responsibility for her actions during her brief remarks to 12th Judicial District Judge Michael Gonzales. But she and her relatives asked the court to consider the life she lived in the 22 years before the incident occurred.
Some of them suggested she should be allowed to return home to her family.
However, Judge Gonzales reminded Chacon that she entered her plea with the understanding she faced a mandatory prison sentence of two to eight years.
The district attorney’s office and the victim in the case asked the court to impose the maximum possible sentence, while the public defender’s office sought the minimum two-year term.
Ultimately, though, the judge determined the six-year term would send a loud and clear message to Chacon and the community at large that she has to pay the consequences for her behavior.
“What I’m here to tell you is that your action was completely inappropriate and completely out of line,” he said.
The victim, who was 39 at the time of the assault, told police last year she drove to the scene of the attack when a man called and asked her to pick him up from a local bar.
According to a police report on the incident, the victim and the man were 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 her aid, and subdued Chacon until authorities arrived and separated the pair.
Police officers who arrived at the scene 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.
Authorities 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.
The victim appeared in court on Monday, and told Judge Gonzales that she is no longer the person she was before the assault.
Since last July, she’s continued to suffer from physical and mental trauma as a result of Chacon’s actions, she said.
When she last appeared in court at Chacon’s plea hearing, 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 onto a job.
On Monday, the woman told the court she becomes physically ill every time she stays in Alamosa, and added she’s lost the strength in her right hand.
“This is something that I have to live with for the rest of my life,” she said.
Deputy Public Defender Amanda Hopkins told the court the defendant’s ex-boyfriend used the victim as a tool to manipulate Chacon, and said a combination of immaturity and alcohol led to “this type of situation.”
“Your honor, never before has the term ‘heat of passion’ been as appropriate as it was in this case,” Hopkins said.
In hindsight, Hopkins said the attack is something her client will regret for the rest of her life.
“She has reflected time and again on the poor choices that she made that night,” she said.
Deputy District Attorney Lara Reincke called Chacon’s behavior extremely concerning for both the victim in the case and the community at large.
“Eight years is the appropriate message that this type of offense isn’t tolerated in any way, shape or form,” she said.
The judge ultimately gave Chacon credit for nine months served, and imposed a mandatory probation term of two years. He also ordered the defendant to pay a $5,000 fine, and gave the district attorney’s office 90 days to submit its proposal for restitution to the victim.