Officials: DUI Suspect accused of killing teen slipped through the cracks

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — The man police say killed a 17-year-old boy in a violent crash on E. Colfax Avenue Monday made a court appearance Wednesday.

Ever Olivos-Gutierrez was released from the hospital and sent straight to a judge.

The arrest warrant says the suspect was driving drunk — three times the legal limit — when an Aurora police officer spotted him speeding 80 miles-an-hour on Colfax.

The officer was trying to catch up to pull him over, when he saw what he described as an explosive crash at Dayton Street.

LINK: Read the arrest affidavit

Prosecutors say the suspect should never have been driving. He had not been living legally in the U.S. since 2004. He did not have a valid driver’s license. He had three prior DUI convictions along with a long criminal record.

Officers say Olivos-Gutierrez admitted he had been drinking when they pulled him out of his SUV.

“He has been arrested by Aurora under the first-degree murder which is ‘extreme indifference’ which means that his actions were of such a way that it caused, his extreme indifference caused the death of Juan,” says Assistant 18th Judicial District Attorney Mark Hurlbert.

The suspect’s relatives left the courtroom without comment Wednesday. The teen’s family members were told by the D.A. not to talk.

But his aunt shared their feelings Tuesday. “We feel anger we feel sadness we feel a loss of hope,” Alma Sanchez said.

“We need to stop this. We need to make sure that there’s laws in effect which would deter people from doing this. It’s a simple choice you drink you don’t drive,” she said.

The suspect is being held in jail without bond. He will be formally advised of the charges against him Monday. Those include:

Olivos-Gutierrez faces the following charges:
– Murder in the first degree extreme indifference
– Vehicular homicide (DUI)
– Vehicular homicide (reckless)
– Driving while habitual traffic offender (DUI)
– Driving while habitual traffic offender (reckless)
– Driving under the influence, third or subsequent offense

Officials: Olivos-Gutierrez ‘slipped through the cracks’

The suspect has been in and out of traffic and DUI courts for 14 years, either pleading guilty to the charges or fleeing to avoid them according to a search of court records.

He was never sentenced to a single day behind bars.

Juan Palomino’s friends are calling for justice. They and the entire community are stunned that the suspect may have slipped through the cracks of the justice system for so long.

“You can see the folly of our current system,” says Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler.

Court records FOX31 Denver found show Olivos-Gutierrez drove drunk before:
— Arrested in Parker for DUI in April 2000
— Ticketed in Aurora for several traffic offenses in 2002, there is some evidence of a second DUI
— Arrested in Parker for DUI in January 2007
— Ticketed in Arapahoe County in November 2010 as a habitual traffic offender

Even though he never had a valid driver’s license and for most of these cases was in the country illegally, the toughest penalty he received was a fine and probation.

Legal expert and defense attorney Dan Recht says there are laws that allow tougher penalties. “We don’t need new laws. We simply need to use the laws we have on the books.”

On the immigration issue, Recht says deportation is often based on politics, not circumstances. “In all too many instances people are deported that shouldn’t be and in all too many instances people that should be deported aren’t deported such as this fellow.”

There are some who disagree with Recht and think Colorado needs tougher laws.

As for deportation, it’s not clear if Immigration and Customs Enforcement was ever notified about this suspect. But we’re told he probably would not have been deported on traffic or DUI offenses anyway.

4 comments

  • Robert Evans (@evans_et)

    ‘slipped through the cracks’

    I know locals who did a year in county for three (DUIs,( what use to be referred to as “simple DUI”,,ie, no accident, injuries or property damage.)

    That was before the neo-fanatical groups like MADD started the destruction of the US Constitution by lobbying for what is called the “DUI Exceptions to the Constitution.” (That is where all our losses of freedom began) Until then, you vehicle was considered part of you personal property and was protected under the 4th amendment)

    These people are what has ruined it for all of us that just want to go to out neighborhood bar and have a few beers and drive ourselves home. Believe it or not, there are responsible drinkers out there that don’t go to the bar and do shots or slam several beers in a short time.

    What toughening the DUI laws does do, is make you figure that as long as you are already going to possibly get a DUI after a couple or three beers, there is no sense in stopping there, you might as well be good and drunk.

    Maybe it should all boil down to assigning a certain bar that caters only to people living in that area code and no one else. That would also give greater control to the local government in knowing who is drinking in that local.

  • Pootey Tang

    Geez… YOU THINK?! Slipped through the cracks? Want to bet he had a pay stub from Hickenlooper`s buddies?

    Slipped through the crack? Tina Griego`s perhaps?

  • Are you Effin` kidding me?

    Wait until Cinco De Mayo! It`ll be catch and release mojado`sall over metro Denver.

    • Eric Holder

      Yeah .. up here on the Deckers stretch of the Platte..Flies and lures only, some parts catch and release.. Seems to apply to Mexicans too!

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