Man sentenced to prison for strangling Kremmling woman
A man who strangled a Kremmling woman in June 2019 was sentenced Monday in Jefferson County Court to 55 years in prison.
Judge Diego Hunt sentenced Christopher L. Moffat, 37, to 40 years in prison for second-degree murder and 15 years for tampering with a deceased human body, plus eight years on parole, for the death of Veronica Sarinana, 38.
Moffat pleaded guilty to the charges in March through a plea deal that dropped the original charges of first-degree murder and tampering with physical evidence. He will receive credit for 635 days in jail.
Arvada police discovered Sarinana’s body in Moffat’s abandoned car on June 19, 2019 after reports of suspicious activity outside the home of Moffat’s brother, Frank. Her death was ruled a homicide caused by strangulation.
According to the arrest affidavit, officers questioned all of the residents of the house, including Frank Moffat, who “indicated Christopher was trying to set him up” because Frank Moffat had a relationship with Sarinana while his brother was in jail.
Christopher Moffat and Sarinana were known to have had an intimate relationship, and he had been accused of getting physical with Sarinana “over 100 times during their relationship,” according to a January police report.
Sarinana also had obtained a restraining order against Christopher Moffat and had previously told police that his most common assault was to prevent her from breathing by placing his hand over her mouth and nose.
Christopher Moffat was released from jail on June 12, 2019, after being arrested on separate charges. He then began contacting Sarinana, who rented several hotel rooms on his behalf.
Sarinana was last seen June 18 by Christopher Moffat when she visited his hotel room for dinner. He told the police that he had dropped her off at his brother’s house, but home security camera footage showed Sarinana never entered the home. It does appear to show a man matching Christopher Moffat’s description leaving Sarinana’s belongings at the front door.
On the morning of June 19, Arvada police received an anonymous report of suspicious activity and a disturbance that happened the previous night at Frank Moffat’s home. A second call about 20 minutes later came from an employee of a nearby church who stated that an anonymous man claimed his brother had killed his girlfriend and left her body in his car.
Police later determined that Christopher Moffat was both the anonymous caller and the man who reported the murder at the church.
According to the affidavit, DNA samples taken from Christopher Moffat matched swabs from Sarinana’s hands and neck. He was arrested June 19 by Glenwood Springs Police, who found Christopher Moffat inside Sarinana’s car at a Walmart parking lot.
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The Grand County Sheriff’s Office fielded 197 calls from May 2-8 while dispatchers answered 405 calls for all first-responder agencies in the county.