ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. -- Months after withdrawing his plea in a burglary and kidnapping case that has drawn a lot of attention over the last year, much to his chagrin, John Snorsky was given the opportunity to state his case before a judge on Monday.
And the ruling from that district judge, Adams County's Thomas Ensor, was as succinct as it was harsh.
"You're the bump in the night," Ensor told Snorsky. "You're the boogie man."
Ensor then doled out the maximum punishment possible, sentencing the 27-year-old to 30 total years in prison. Specifically, Snorsky received 24 years for one charge of first-degree burglary and another six years to be served concurrently for a second-degree kidnapping charge.
It seemed that Snorsky, who filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea in November, was most concerned with making an attempt to clear the air about the kidnapping charge.
Snorsky had been scheduled for a sentencing hearing when he filed the initial hearing to withdraw the plea. He also wrote a letter to the court explaining his desire to fire his private attorneys, forcing Ensor to reschedule the sentencing hearing for Monday.
Standing before the judge with his new, court-appointed public defenders, Snorsky said he felt he had not been given a fair opportunity to share his side of the story.
“From the beginning, this case has been completely controlled by the prosecution and the detectives and what they would like to portray in the media,” Snorsky said.
Snorsky didn't dispute the burglary charges against him, saying that while he was under the influence of a undisclosed drug, he did indeed break into an Aurora home in the 1600 block of Hanover Street on Oct. 28, 2013, with the intent to commit burglary. Snorsky did dispute the claim that he intended to kidnap the 8-year-old who was in the room he entered.
The girl screamed as she was pulled out of the home through the window, and her father, Ivan Juarez, chased Snorsky down the 1600 block of Hanover Street. After 60 feet, Snorsky dropped the girl and fled, only to be arrested a day later on an unrelated charge and linked to the case through DNA evidence.
While Adams County District Attorney Dave Young characterized Juarez's effort to chase down Snorsky as a "miracle," Snorsky insisted that had he been motivated to kidnap the girl, he would have done so.
“If I wanted that girl, I would have took her, sir," Snorsky told Ensor on Monday. "And I would have really took her. There was no one there to stop me. I let her go because I did not want her."
Snorsky made an effort to further explain his intentions by describing his "career" as a criminal.
"If you look at my criminal history, I am a repeated cat burglar who breaks into people’s houses in the middle of the night," Snorsky said.
Claiming that the media's coverage on the story was based on information from biased detectives and prosecutors, Snorsky tried to dispute certain facts of the case.
“The whole thing about him (Juarez) saying she (the victim) was up doing homework at midnight on a school night, and I just came in, all that is his theory and speculation,” Snorsky said. “That is not actually what happened.”
Snorsky also tried to downplay the nature of his crime.
"This entire story has been sensationalized into something completely enormous,” Snorsky said. “There are people who have killed people, people out there raping people, people out there doing real crimes like that who don’t get as much attention as I've been getting. And they’re not going to get a 30-year sentence.”
But as Snorsky tried to explain one particular case in which he allegedly broke into a Florida man's home and stole his keys from his bedroom while he slept, all without waking that man, Ensor seemed to have heard enough.
“Are you bragging?” the judge asked. “It sounds like you are.”
“No sir, I’m not bragging at all,” Snorsky responded. “What I’m trying to say is if you look at what actually happened and what is being portrayed, they’re two different things.
"I did panic and I was high and I did take the girl. But I did not take her with intent to kidnap her. If anyone wants to believe otherwise, that’s fine.”
It seems Ensor can be counted among those who believe otherwise.
"I’m glad no one was raped or killed in this case," Ensor said. "But I’m not at all convinced that the outcome would have been as it is right now had (the victim's) father not intervened. I don’t know what you would have done.”
What Ensor did purport to know was that it seemed Snorsky was not interested in being rehabilitated.
"You’re a smart guy, but you’re clearly full of yourself, too," Ensor told Snorsky. "I think the issue before this court right now is how I can prevent you from harming my community. The only way I can do that is to lock you away and separate you from our community as long as I can."
Ensor's ruling seemed to please Juarez as well as the victim's grandmother, Beatric Padilla, both of whom spoke before the judge at the hearing.
“I’m asking that you give him the 30 years,” Padilla said. “If it were up to me, I’d give him more."
The ruling also seemed to please Young, who called the victim, now 10 years old, "a very strong girl" who told him she is interested in becoming an attorney someday.
"I hope she's able to do that," Young said.