Adams County man gets life without parole in murder of ex-girlfriend

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Christopher Mainock (Photo: Adams County Sheriff's Office)

ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. — The man found sitting in a vehicle with the body of his ex-girlfriend two years ago was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility for parole Friday, after being convicted of first degree murder earlier this year.

On March 24, 2011 Westminster police officers responded to a suspicious vehicle with black trash bags taped to the inside of the windows. They found a dead woman in the vehicle with Christopher Mainock, who investigators say had self-inflicted injuries.

The woman was later identified as 20-year-old Sarah Barroga-Hulett.

Prosecutors said Mainock, who was in a previous relationship with Barroga-Hulett, used chloroform to subdue his ex-girlfriend and drag her to his vehicle. Then he forced her to disrobe in the back seat of his car where he sexually assaulted her and strangled her to death, according to a news release from the district attorney’s office.

He was found guilty of those charges in March.

Barroga-Hulett’s mother, father and fiance were in the courtroom. Her mother Norita Barroga-Hulett spoke at Mainock’s sentencing hearing Friday.

“Richard and I have lost our only daughter,” Norita said. “It is a knife in our family’s heart. Christopher has obliterated Sarah’s rights. Her freedom has been destroyed. By murdering our daughter he has ended his own life as well. I have no sympathy for him.

“I stand here today trying to describe an indescribable sorrow.”

Calling Mainock a “beloved member of his family,” the defense argued before the sentencing that Mainock suffered from mental illness and regrets his actions. In delivering his sentence, Judge Jill-Ellyn Straus belittled those claims.

“No one saw you as being so severely mentally ill that you were capable of this kind of violence,” Straus said. “She tried to be your friend and that wasn’t good enough.”