Alondra Michel sentenced to 42 years in prison for murder and arson

Alondra Michel, who pleaded guilty earlier this year to second-degree murder and first-degree arson in a deadly 2022 apartment fire in Aurora, was sentenced to 42 years in prison last week, prosecutors announced Wednesday.

The fire killed 5-year-old Abner Salmeron-Bautista.

“This defendant’s actions showed a complete disregard for the safety of all tenants living in that complex,” 18th Judicial District Chief Deputy District Attorney Ann Tomsic said in Wednesday’s news release. “We hope this lengthy prison sentence can bring some closure to Abner’s family and the other tenants who were temporarily displaced at no fault of their own.”

District Judge Shay Whitaker sentenced Michel to 42 years for the second-degree murder charge, just under the 45-year maximum, and 10 years for each of the three arson charge, to be served concurrently.

Around 1:30 a.m. on Jan. 24, 2022, Aurora Fire Rescue responded to a structure fire in an Aurora apartment complex.

According to a Wednesday news release from the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, firefighters quickly determined that the blaze was intentionally set.

“The investigation revealed Michel lit a blanket on fire inside a ground-level apartment following a disagreement with her boyfriend over text messages with other women on his phone,” the news release stated.

The fire quickly spread to other units, including a second-story apartment where firefighters found the 5-year-old. He was rushed to the hospital, where he died from his injuries.

Three people were hospitalized in the early morning fire, while emergency personnel said they made multiple rescues from the three-story building.

Authorities said 31 residents were displaced, including a family of Afghan refugees.

Investigators arrested Michel shortly after the fire and initially charged her with 34 counts, including multiple counts of attempted murder and arson. In March, she pleaded guilty to four charges and a sentence enhancer, while the other counts were dismissed.

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