Richard Lockett sentenced to life in prison for killing estranged wife

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CASTLE ROCK, Colo. -- A Limon man accused of stabbing his estranged wife to death has been sentenced to life in prison, the 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office said.

Richard Lockett, 46, was charged with domestic violence murder for cutting the throat of Kirsten Lockett on July 18, 2015.

Kirsten Lockett, 36, had been granted a restraining order against Richard Lockett and sole possession of their home in Limon, but was hiding with her five children at her brother’s home in Castle Rock.

The Castle Rock Police Department said Richard Lockett broke into the house in the middle of the night and dragged Kirsten to an upstairs bathroom before slashing her throat.

Prosecutors said Tuesday that a few days before the killing, the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office responded to the Lockett residence, and started a kidnapping and assault investigation.

"It was evident to all investigators that Richard Lockett was dangerous, and was believed to be armed," the district attorney's office said in a statement.

The sheriff's office issued a felony arrest warrant for Richard Lockett, sent a statewide bulletin to law enforcement offices, interviewed his associates and contacted his employer, and requested and analyzed cellphone data.

"Unfortunately, these efforts did not prevent a tragedy from occurring," the district attorney's office said.

In 2016, Lockett’s defense attorney told a judge he wanted to use the so-called “Twinkie defense,” suggesting Lockett’s high blood sugar on the day of the crime was to blame for his actions.

But the judge refused to allow that defense, and Lockett’s attorney hinted he would use an insanity defense or a not guilty by mental defect defense.

Prosecutors promised to fight any effort using an insanity defense.

On Tuesday, Lockett pleaded guilty to first-degree murder.

Douglas District Court Judge Shay Whitaker sentenced Lockett to life in prison without the possibility of parole, the district attorney's office said.

Other charges were dismissed.

“This defendant terrorized his wife and family,” District Attorney George Brauchler said. "Kirsten Lockett did everything she could to get away and protect herself and her children. He was relentless. Our communities will not tolerate such violence, and this man deserves to spend every moment of the rest of life in prison.”

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