Machete-wielding man gets 4 years

Father of five who terrorized neighborhood this summer apologizes for 'monstrous act'

A father of five was ordered to serve four years in prison last week in connection to terrorizing a Cortez neighborhood with a machete during the summer.

Walter Marquez, 36, of Cortez was sentenced Thursday, Dec. 5, to two consecutive two-year prison terms with the Colorado Department of Corrections for a total of four years behind bars. Credited with 108 days served, Marquez will serve four years probation upon his release.

The charges stem from a July 23 attack when Marquez, armed with a bloody machete, forced entry into three residences along the 500 block of N. Harrison Street.

Wearing a navy blue suit and tie before Chief District Court Judge Doug Walker, Marquez read a prepared written statement at his sentencing, addressing the court for seven minutes. He not only apologized for the fear and emotional trauma his "evil actions" caused the victims, but he also expressed sorrow to court officials, police officers, the community and his family.

"There's no excuse for my actions," Marquez said, his voice crackling. "I wish I could take that day back. Admittedly, it was a very monstrous act."

Several family members spoke on Marquez's behalf seeking leniency in a proposed five-year prison sentence. Louis Edwards, grandfather to one of Marquez's children, argued lengthy jail time could potentially push Marquez further down the wrong path.

"I'm begging you, your honor, to have mercy on him," Edwards pleaded.

District Attorney Will Furse requested five years of prison, citing the victims will face lifelong trauma as a direct result of the defendant's "acts of violence."

"This case is truly something like that of a horror movie," he explained.

Also requesting a lighter sentence, public defender Justin Bogan said Marquez did in fact "scare the hell" out of residents on the day in question, but said his client's actions were an attempt by a troubled and confused man seeking to commit suicide by cop.

"This is not an evil man who wanted to put fear in the community," Bogan argued. "This is a sad and lonely man who wanted to die that night."

Moments before imposing his sentence, Walker told a visibly shaken Marquez that people in the community were not accustomed to having their doors kicked in by a man wielding a machete. Walker added the victims were "unlucky" to cross paths with Marquez that evening.

"I read the police report, and it's scary," Walker said. "It must have been incredibly frightening for the victims and their children."