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Judge sentences truck driver to 25 years in state prison for hitting, killing man.

The victim, a locksmith, had gotten into a dispute with the man over payment

By Abhishek Published about a month ago 3 min read
Judge sentences truck driver to 25 years in state prison for hitting, killing man.
Photo by Ye Jinghan on Unsplash

A judge on Friday sentenced a truck driver to 25 years in prison for the 2022 death of a man he ran over with his 18-wheeler – then left to die as he drove away.

Erick Mejia, 32, had earlier pleaded guilty to one count of leaving the scene of an accident involving death and one count of vehicular homicide.

“There are no winners in this case, Mr. Mejia, yourself included,” said Arapahoe County District Judge Jacob Edson. “I know you didn’t go out there that day to kill a person, but you did, and you have to face the consequences.”

Edson sentenced Mejia to 15 years for leaving the scene of an accident involving death and 10 years for vehicular homicide – and ordered that they run consecutively.

The incident unfolded around 11:30 a.m. Dec. 28, 2022, at 1 Digicomm Drive in Dove Valley.

According to an arrest affidavit, Mejia told an investigator that he had called Guillermo Duran-Mejia – no relation – for locksmith services and that there was an argument over payment. He said that during the argument, Duran-Mejia ripped up money and hit his semi-truck with an "auto theft prevention device," according to the affidavit.

At that point, Mejia said, he got into his semi. As he was driving away, he turned toward Duran-Mejia's vehicle, the affidavit said. He told investigators that he had moved that way to avoid hitting a tree, according to the document.

He told investigators that he knew he had hit Duran-Mejia's vehicle but did not initially know he had hit the victim. He looked back and saw the victim on the ground, the document said.

Mejia said he walked up to the victim and called 911, but then hung up. He said he made a second 911 call about a minute later, then made a delivery to a business and left as deputies arrived, the affidavit said.

Mejia did not attempt to contact medical personnel or law enforcement at the scene as he left, the document said.

Investigators contacted Mejia by phone and told him to stay where he was so they could talk with him, but he instead drove south on Interstate 25, according to the affidavit. Police stopped him south of Colorado Springs.

For more stories

Coban Porter, brother of Nuggets star Michael Porter Jr. and former University of Denver basketball player, will serve six years in prison for vehicular homicide charges following a drunk-driving crash that left a Denver mother dead.

Denver District Court Judge Ericka Englert sentenced 22-year-old Porter on Friday to six years in prison for one count of vehicular homicide (DUI) and three years concurrently for one count of vehicular assault (DUI) following the Jan. 22, 2023 fatal crash that left 42-year-old Katharina Rothman dead and Jason Blanch, 47, severely injured.

“As a parent, you are not supposed to bury your children,” Rothman's mother, Connie Johnson, told the judge while stifling tears.

As a mother, you know your child before they are even born into this world. You feel their heartbeat. You go through the labor. You raise them and you try your hardest to infinitely protect them. I did that for Kathy all my life," she said. "But how was I supposed to protect my child from this?"

The crash
Rothman was working as an Uber driver on the night of Jan. 21, 2023. She was driving Blanch in her 2023 Tesla T3 in the area of the DU campus.

Around the same time, Porter was drinking at the Crimson and Gold Tavern, becoming "visibly intoxicated" and being continuously served by the staff, according to a lawsuit later filed by Blanch.

Porter eventually left the bar and began driving his vehicle.

Around 2 a.m. Jan. 22, Porter traveled eastbound on East Buchtel Boulevard in a 2014 Ford Edge while Rothman and Blanch traveled northbound on South University Boulevard. Rothman had a green light and Porter did not, according to the arrest affidavit from the Denver Police Department. Porter failed to stop and crashed into the Uber, killing Rothman and leaving Blanch severely injured.

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  • Alex H Mittelman about a month ago

    How sad. Well written!

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