Convicted Killer Up For Parole

By: McKenzie Martin Email
By: McKenzie Martin Email

It's been more than 20 years since his son was brutally murdered. Now a Colorado Springs father is speaking out afraid the man responsible, Dominick Cardoza, may be released.

The murder happened in Monument Valley Park near the Bijou bridge on a cold Saturday in January of 1988.

The body of 25-year-old Carlos Espinoza Jr. was found by some joggers. He was thrown off the bridge and then beaten to death with a rock.

Cardoza was arrested immediately following the murder, he has been prison since the early 90's.

"I hope he stays there for the rest of his life," said Carlos Espinoza’s father, Carlos Espinoza Senior. He received papers last week informing him that Cardoza is up for parole.

"I don't think he should be coming out," Espinoza Senior said. "He took my son's life away and took our holidays away."

And he's served less than 20 years of his 48 year sentence.

"To me it seems like it was yesterday," Espinoza said. He remembers it all so vividly. Especially the moment he found out that his son had been killed. "It was a Sunday afternoon around 7:30 when they came and told us about it," Espinoza said.

Cardoza was eventually found sane to stand trial, but he ended up pleading guilty to second degree murder. Three years after the murder he was finally sentenced. Carlos Senior never missed a court hearing.

"It took about 139 hearings," he said.

And even though 22 years have now passed the pain of losing his son is still very real. "It breaks my heart to see him," Espinoza said.

And he can't imagine his son's killer going free. He says not a day goes by that he doesn't think about what life would be like today, Carlos Espinoza Junior would be 47-years-old.

Dominick Cardoza's parole hearing is scheduled for August 31st. The family says they will be going to Canon City to hopefully convince the judge to keep him behind bars.

Espinoza and Cardoza were neighbors. No one knows exactly why the killing happened. It was rumored to be because of a fight over a girl and money.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Anonymous on Aug 27, 2010 at 09:48 AM
    don't do a buget cut on this one we do not want him out to kill another innocent person
  • by Anonymous on Aug 25, 2010 at 07:12 PM
    he needs to pay for what he did
  • by vivian Location: texas on Aug 21, 2010 at 07:09 AM
    THIS MONSTER SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO WALK FREE ON ANY STREETS FOR WHAT HE HAD DONE TO MY FAMILY.THIS CREATURE LOST ALL HIS RIGHTS TWENTY YEARS AGO.SO LISTEN UP PAROLE BOARD! HE IS A KILLER AND ALL MURDERS SHOULD NEVER BE SET FREE!!!!! LIFE IN PRISON IS WHERE HE SHOULD BE FOR TAKING AWAY A SON, BROTHER, UNCLE, AND BEST FRIEND FROM MY FAMILY....
  • by Carla Location: Colo.Sprgs. on Aug 19, 2010 at 05:23 PM
    We knew this day would come. It just seems like it came so fast. We honestly do not know what to expect at the hearing. Our family's on pins and needles. We are hopeful that they do not let this monster free.
  • by Sarah Location: colorado springs on Aug 19, 2010 at 11:01 AM
    If only the death penalty were truly effective and actually cost less than life imprisonment... Then we might get somewhere.
  • by Gail on Aug 19, 2010 at 07:50 AM
    How much has this one man's actions cost the taxpayers? We need instant death penalties.
  • by Kirk Location: Colorado Springs on Aug 19, 2010 at 07:27 AM
    22 years is a short time to be in prison for murder! If I had MY way, every murderer would receive the death penalty if there was clear evidence. There is NO forgiveness for murder. This killer has no business being released to the general public, ever! He should DIE in prison, and be buried in a shallow grave with no headstone, so that he is TOTALLY forgotten. There is a PRICE for murder, and he hasn't paid it yet!
  • by Mark Location: C/S on Aug 19, 2010 at 06:36 AM
    WHAT? The fact that this guy is getting a hearing with the parole board is offensive enough, let alone the fact that he might get released. Listen up Parole Board; he killed another person! He gets to stay in prison, he gave up his right to freedom when he committed MURDER!
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