UTAH — A 23-year-old man was sentenced Monday to seven years to life in prison for trying to kill his girlfriend, whom he believed was pregnant, by hanging her from a Utah overpass.
Juan Echeveste Alba had been upset over learning that his girlfriend might be pregnant and that she was uncertain of the father, according to Utah court documents filed in the case.
The woman told police Echeveste Alba was waiting outside her Salt Lake area home when she arrived on July 1, and that he forced her into his vehicle, charging documents state. She said he punched her several times, noting that many of the punches seemed to be aimed at her stomach.
Echeveste Alba drove the woman to Parleys Canyon overpass at Interstate 80 Exit 131, court documents state. Once there, the woman told police he punched her several more times before getting a rope from the trunk of his car – ultimately tying one end of the rope to his car and wrapping the other end of the rope around his girlfriend’s neck.
He then told the woman he was going to kill her for lying to him, according to court documents. When the woman managed to get the rope off her neck, Echeveste Alba began to strangle her with his hands to the point she said she couldn’t breathe.
At about that time, four Unified Fire Authority firefighters, who were in the area responding to a report of smoke, observed Echeveste Alba shoving the woman against a wall and pulling on the rope, according to officials.
When Echeveste Alba saw the firefighters, he pushed the woman into his car and tried to take off, but the firefighters pulled him out and detained him until Utah Highway Patrol troopers arrived and arrested him.
During the investigation, it was determined that the victim was not pregnant.
Notwithstanding, Echeveste Alba was charged in 3rd District Court with two first-degree felony counts of attempted murder and one first-degree count of aggravated kidnapping.
In September, he pleaded guilty in September to both attempted murder counts and to a reduced second-degree felony count of kidnapping.
Echeveste Alba was sentenced Monday to three years to life in prison on each of the attempted murder counts, and one to 15 years for the kidnapping count.
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