ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An elderly couple lived their last few years in fear after two men broke into their home in 2013, and shut them in a dark room. One of the bandits faced a judge Thursday, saying he is a changed man and asking for probation.
The victims have since passed away from natural causes, but their daughter said they were terrified and lived their last few years in fear.
“They spent the last years really suffering and being scared of people breaking into their home in the middle of the night,” said the prosecutor.
One of the victims, Shirley Adams, feared the worst when two men broke into her northeast Albuquerque home in June 2013.
“I thought about all the elderly people that have robbers or whatever come in, and quite often they don’t have very good endings,” said Adams.
Adams said adrenaline kicked in and she managed to climb out of a back window and call for help.
“I thought well if I’m ever going to do anything, it’s going to have to be now,” said Adams.
Police said they found Andrew Mondragon, then 19, still inside the house.
Andrew Mondragon was in court for sentencing Thursday. He told the judge he has matured in the past few years and thinks prison would not be a good place for him.
“I found new maturity through the program,” said Andrew Mondragon.
He begged for probation and drug treatment.
“Although I have not been to prison, I feel that it may not be the appropriate environment for someone like me,” said Mondragon.
However, prosecutors reminded the judge Mondragon has bolted from drug treatment before.
“Any chance he’s given, he’s just going to disappear again,” said the prosecutor.
The judge showed no mercy.
“A total of seven years to be served,” said Judge Jaramillo.
Mondragon already pleaded guilty to kidnapping and burglary. He faced up to ten years.
His accomplice, John Lujan, was also caught by police during that same incident. He is doing nine years in prison.