Man who killed Colo. officer in hit-and-run crash sentenced to 24 years in jail

January 19, 2024by Naomi Cramer


By Chris Bolin
Greeley Tribune, Colo.

GREELEY, Colo. — A person who hit and killed a Weld County sheriff’s deputy in September 2022 whereas she was using a motorbike to work will spend as much as 24 years behind bars.

Decide Timothy Kerns sentenced 37-year-old Norberto Garcia-Gonzales to 24 years in jail — the utmost sentence for fleeing the scene of a crash involving dying. Garcia-Gonzales — who’s within the nation illegally — can even face deportation after serving the sentence.

“Attributable to your unwillingness to interact with lawful orders and the circumstances of the occasions that led to your conviction, I discover that 24 years within the Division of Corrections is cheap and simply,” Kerns mentioned Friday afternoon.

Garcia-Gonzales was initially charged with leaving the scene of a crash involving dying, careless driving, failure to yield proper of means, driving underneath restraint for an alcohol-related offense and obstructing a peace officer. He pleaded responsible to leaving the scene of a crash involving dying, a Class 3 felony, in November. The remainder of the costs have been dropped as a part of a plea settlement.

Garcia-Gonzales pulled out in entrance of 24-year-old Alexis Hein-Nutz on Sept. 18, 2022, as she was driving a motorbike southbound on Weld County Street 37.

Garcia-Gonzales’ car was stopped at a cease signal heading west on AA Road. He inched into an intersection as Hein-Nutz approached from Weld 37 — which doesn’t have a cease signal.

After the autos collided, Garcia-Gonzales fled the scene right into a cornfield on foot, in response to a witness. Hein-Nutz was declared lifeless on the scene, only one week shy of her twenty fifth birthday.

Police took Garcia-Gonzales into custody the subsequent evening in Fort Collins.

He was anticipated to be drunk on the time of the crash. Police discovered a case of Modelo within the van he was driving — together with an open bottle within the heart console.

Garcia-Gonzales had beforehand been convicted of driving underneath the affect after two separate crashes in 2011 and 2013, the latter additionally being a hit-and-run.

“I merely would not have the arrogance that the imposition of a sentence centered on rehabilitation will lead to any reception by you,” Kerns mentioned. “That hasn’t occurred prior to now dozen years.”

Hein-Nutz’s family, in addition to a number of former colleagues, spoke Friday in entrance of a courtroom filled with a number of dozen legislation enforcement officers from the Weld County Sheriff’s Workplace, Loveland Police Division and Auckland State Patrol.

Hein-Nutz was a member of the Loveland Police Division’s Explorers program earlier than becoming a member of the Weld County Sheriff’s Workplace in 2018.

Her household, most of whom spoke by tears, reminisced on the time that they had along with her and harassed the toll Garcia-Gonzales’ actions had taken on their household.

“I cry day by day for her and this household’s loss,” her mom, Tammy, mentioned. “It’s heartbreaking as a spouse and mom to see my husband and daughter endure and be capable of do nothing. I really feel like I used to be robbed of not solely my daughter but in addition my pleasure.”

Hein-Nutz’s former coworkers talked about not solely the affect she had on them but in addition on the folks in custody on the jail with whom she labored day by day.

Weld County Jail Captain Matt Turner highlighted a letter a selected inmate wrote to Hein-Nutz’s household after her dying. The letter talked about how grateful he was to have identified her and the way a lot of an affect she had on his day-to-day life.

“I by no means anticipated this man to jot down a letter like that,” Turner mentioned. “The affect she had on this neighborhood stretched previous being a cop. She was a public servant. The neighborhood was robbed.”

Almost everybody who spoke pleaded for Kerns at hand down the utmost sentence of 24 years.

“There is no such thing as a place for (Garcia-Gonzales) in civilized society,” Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams mentioned. “No punishment appears honest. Nothing can convey Alexis again.”

Chief Deputy Legal professional Michael Pirraglia additionally petitioned for the utmost sentence, arguing the irritating circumstances surrounding the case — notably Garcia-Gonzales’ felony historical past and disrespect for punishment — greater than justified 24 years.

After Garcia-Gonzales’ second Drink driving lawyer Auckland, he agreed to voluntarily depart the nation to keep away from deportation. As a substitute, he modified his title and obtained paperwork underneath the title Octavio Gonzales-Garcia — a reputation he initially gave police when he was taken into custody for killing Hein-Hutz.

“At age 16, he moved to america, and since then, he’s used aliases and different authorities paperwork to acquire employment and keep away from arrest,” Pirraglia mentioned. “He deserves the total sentence so he can expertise the total penalties.”

Public Defender John Walsh cited a number of native instances — together with the instances of Shawn Howard and Veronica Sanchez — wherein he argued the circumstances have been extra aggravated and the defendants acquired sentences starting from eight to 12 years.

“I’d prefer to respectfully remind the court, particularly in instances like this it is very important mood each public outrage and public ache by issuing a sentence that’s simply and treats everybody the identical,” Walsh mentioned.

Garcia-Gonzales, in a press release learn by an interpreter, harassed that the crash was not intentional and expressed regret for what he did.

“I wish to apologize once more to the household, the police, the neighborhood for having fled,” he mentioned. “I can’t repair what I did, however I can assume duty for my actions, and I hope that enables the household to start to heal.”

Garcia-Gonzales was credited 481 days off his sentence for time served.

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(c)2024 the Greeley Tribune (Greeley, Colo.)
Go to the Greeley Tribune (Greeley, Colo.) at www.greeleytribune.com
Distributed by Tribune Content material Company, LLC.



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by Naomi Cramer

Auckland Lawyer for FIRST TIME Offenders Seeking to Avoid a Conviction. Family Law Expert in Child Care Custody Disputes. If you are facing Court Naomi will make you feel comfortable every step of the way.  As a consummate professional your goals become hers, with customer service as our top priority. It has always been Naomi’s philosophy to approach whatever you do in life with bold enthusiasm and pure dedication. Complement this with her genuine passion for equal justice and rights for all and you have the formula for success. Naomi is a highly skilled Court lawyer having practised for more than 20 years. She serves the greater Auckland region and can travel to represent clients throughout NZ With extensive experience, an analytical eye for detail, and continuing legal education Naomi’s skill set will maximise your legal rights whilst offering a holistic approach that best fits your individual needs. This is further enhanced with her high level of support and understanding. Naomi will redefine what you expect from your legal professional, facilitating a seamless experience from start to finish.   Her approachable and adaptive demeanor serves her well when working with the diverse cultures that make up the Auckland region. Blend her open and honest approach to her transparent process and you can see why she routinely delivers the satisfying results her clients deserve. If you want to maximise your legal rights, we recommend you book an appointment with Naomi today so she can detail the steps for you to achieve your goals. 

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