Denver: Burger King killers get life sentences
Rocky Mountain News
Vail, CO Colorado
DENVER, Colorado ” One year ago, Celia Meza was shot to death on the floor of the freezer at the Burger King where she worked because she tried to call police during a robbery.
Exactly one year after her death, the man who shot her, Anthony Lowe, 22 and his accomplice, Thomas Johns, 18 were sentenced to life in prison Tuesday for her murder.
Meza’s sister, Alejandra Escobedo, said she was satisfied with the sentence.
“We got justice even though nothing is going to bring my sister back,” she said. “People like this don’t deserve to be on the streets.”
Escobedo said her sister had a hard life, selling candy and bread on the streets in Mexico so the family would have enough to eat.
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During the three years she was in the United States, Meza worked hard, cleaning houses and ironing to send money back to her family in Mexico and make a living for herself and her 11-year-old daughter.
“Now that little girl doesn’t have a mom,” Escobedo said.
Meza had been working at the Burger King at West 64th Avenue and Ward Road for only a few months when she was shot to death by Lowe after being clubbed and dragged to the freezer.
Lowe and Johns, both former employees of the restaurant, planned to rob the restaurant, split the money with night manager and inside man Anthony Cole and flee to Florida.
The group had met for several weeks to plan the robbery.
Meza, who was called in to work that night and knew nothing of the robbery plans, was shot to death by Lowe in the freezer when she called 911 from her cell phone.
Lowe and Johns were sentenced by Jefferson County District Judge Jane Tidball to an additional 42 years in prison for their convictions on other crimes including kidnapping, assault, aggravated robbery, theft and conspiracy.
Cole, who pleaded guilty and testified against the other defendants, previously had been sentenced to 48 years in prison for second-degree murder.