- Associated Press - Friday, June 6, 2014

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) - A southeastern Idaho man who shot and killed a 21-year-old woman has been sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder.

Adan Arroyo, 23, of Blackfoot received the sentence Thursday in 7th District Court. He will be eligible for parole after 25 years.

Arroyo pleaded guilty in February to killing Kristy Aschliman of Idaho Falls on Jan. 19, 2013. Authorities say he shot her four times, the last shot to the head, and left her for dead on the side of the road near Ammon.

As part of the plea deal, prosecutors dropped a deadly weapon enhancement charge and agreed not to seek the death penalty.

“The loss of Kristy has destroyed me,” Gertrude Fernandez, Aschliman’s mother, told District Judge Jon Shindurling. “I don’t know what it means to be happy anymore. Now I spend my time looking at the front door, waiting for Kristy to walk through. But she never will.”

The motive for the killing is murky, though witnesses say Arroyo called Aschliman a “rat” before the shooting.

“I know ‘sorry’ doesn’t bring Kristy back,” Arroyo said, the Post Register reported (https://www.postregister.com/node/56293). “I just want her family to know that I’m sorry.”

Arroyo’s attorney, Jim Archibald, said that a gun owned by Aschliman went missing, and that Aschliman gave police the names of two men as suspects, one of them Arroyo.

The other man was pulled over by police and taken into custody after police said they found drug paraphernalia. Aschliman then loaned money so he could be bailed out, Archibald said.

Within 12 hours, Arroyo showed up at Aschliman’s door and they left in a car. Court documents say Aschliman jumped from the moving car, but that Arroyo chased her down and shot her four times. Witnesses testified that he put the gun to her head to fire the fourth shot.

The gun Arroyo used was the one Aschliman reported stolen, police said.

An autopsy found that Aschliman had methamphetamine in her system, Archibald said.

Bonneville County Prosecutor Bruce Pickett said Aschliman became involved with a bad crowd, but she shouldn’t have died.

“I think she struggled somewhat with making friends,” Pickett said. “She had good family and good friends, but she was looking for more acceptance. She wasn’t perfect, she had some misdemeanor charges, but that doesn’t justify what happened.”

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