Final Man Involved in the Death of Abel Roper Sentenced
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- The final man involved in the murder of Fruita resident Abel Roper in March 2012 has been sentenced.
Jose Ortiz,32, was sentenced to 3 years of community corrections in front of a Mesa County judge Monday morning for 1st Degree Trespassing and two other charges.
According to the DA, the maximum sentence on the plea deal would have been 4.5 years in prison.
In addition to the community corrections sentence, Ortiz was also ordered to pay a combined $4,952 in restitution in conjunction with the other two people involved with the crime (Timothy Hanson and Julio Ortiz).
Jose Ortiz, Julio Ortiz and Timothy Hanson were involved in a dispute at Cruiser's bar, last March, the night Abel Roper was murdered.
According to testimony, Jose was the aggressor at the bar, engaging in the initial conflict.
Following the dispute, the three men followed Abel in his truck and assaulted him. The district attorney says Jose struck Roper repeatedly, but his brother, Julio, stabbed him.
Abel's father addressed the court asking the judge to bring justice to their family and said, "He (Jose) was the one who wanted to do him harm."
The DA and judge commended Ortiz for his testimony against his brother Julio, which they say ultimately led to his conviction of first degree murder.
However, despite the testimony, the DA told the court, "Without Jose Ortiz, Abel Roper would still be here today."
Ortiz will be credited with 515 days of pre-sentence confinement.
Timothy Hanson is currently serving an 11-month sentence with mandatory probation while Julio Ortiz is serving a life sentence with no parole.