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Colorado family to oppose parole for woman convicted of gory crimes following murder

Colorado family to oppose parole for woman convicted of gory crimes following murder
Colorado family to oppose parole for woman convicted of gory crimes following murder 01:09

The family of a man murdered in rural Jefferson County is opposing parole for a 23-year-old accused of gruesome crimes in the aftermath of the murder. 

23-year-old Lila Atencio has a parole hearing on Friday that could mean release from La Vista Correctional Facility in Pueblo in April.

"We've had a lot of letdowns when it comes to Lila and trying to get justice for Joe when it comes to Lila," said Amy Frost, the aunt of victim 28-year-old Joseph Brinson. 

Brinson was murdered in January 2019 at a home on South Mica Mine Gulch Road several miles south of Tiny Town. 

He had been in dispute with a roommate William Irvine, who later pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. Brinson was shot by Irvine's friend, Blake Quinlan, who is doing life without parole for first-degree murder as the one accused of pulling the trigger. 

Brinson's body was dismembered in the home's basement, placed in plastic bags, then driven out to Byers where it was dumped.

Lila Atencio, who was 17 at the time of the crime, ultimately pleaded guilty to accessory to crime and tampering with a deceased human body.  

Months after helping with the disposal of the body, she went back to Byers and retrieved the bag with Brinson's severed head and attempted to pull the teeth as the three feared he might be identified from dental records. 

Later, she admitted she drove a car over the head after getting frustrated at her inability to remove the teeth. She then moved the head to a different location away from the other remains.

Initially, Atencio was given six years probation for her role after she agreed to testify in the case against the other two defendants. The cases took a long time to get through the court system during the pandemic. During much of that, Atencio served jail time, a total of over 700 days. 

Ultimately when she was given parole, the family says the judge indicated any slipups and she'd be sentenced to 12 years on the two charges. But there were slip-ups. 

In September 2023, Atencio was back in court after being accused in other crimes, including a DUI and an attack in jail that led to an assault charge.

But there was a change of judge. A new judge sentenced her to two six year terms served concurrently rather than 12. That effectively meant a six year sentence. The 700-plus days were subtracted as time served. 

In Colorado, there is parole eligibility after half of time is served and more credit is given for each month served, reducing a sentence. 

That means eligibility for parole after what Frost considers only six months for her role in the crimes, wondering what portion of the 700 days served before her sentencing was attributable to the other charges against her, outside of Brinson's killing.

"You know this is this is somebody who bagged up body parts, who tried to extract teeth from a human skull, and then turned around and used his credit card to celebrate her birthday. You know this is a callous person," said Frost, who remains upset over the sentence and parole eligibility. 

Family has recorded a statement for the parole board hearing. 

"This is pretty much the end of the road for us as Joe's family. It's the last stop," said Frost, who believes Atencio should not back in society. "Especially all the rules and the laws and everything that she has broken on down the line ever since Joe's murder. It's not a display of somebody who is trying to better themselves, who is trying to show remorse. This is somebody who has learned that no matter what laws she breaks, an opportunity will be extended to her."

The office of the First Judicial District District Attorney Alexis King has also said it opposes parole for Atencio. 

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