Letter to Editor: Large broken promise from DA Payne


Editor,

There is a two-fold intent to writing this letter. First and foremost, to honor and uphold the beautiful memory of beloved community member Barbara Vigil. Barbara was senselessly killed in an automobile crash in Moffat, Colo., on Nov. 25, 2019, by a driver who reportedly was driving 100 mph until seconds before the crash, which destroyed the familiar old red Blazer that Barbara drove.

Second, to shine a large spotlight on the intention of newly elected 12th Judicial District District Attorney Alonzo Payne to offer a plea deal to the driver that fails to hold the driver to a single day of jail-prison time. The plea will give the accused a deferred sentence. The DA's office has grossly neglected the family and their rights.

DA Payne ran for public office on the promise that he would serve the Valley community including victims in supporting their rights and ensuring that those charged with crimes would be treated fairly and justly. Is this what justice in the Valley looks like under his administration?

In this case, and possibly in others to follow, to allow the accused to “kill” a beloved member of the Saguache/Moffat/Crestone communities without appropriate consequences is not only a travesty, but a large broken promise from DA Payne.

The family was recently made aware that newly elected DA Payne offered a deferred sentence plea that includes no jail time for the driver of the vehicle who was charged with:

Vehicular Homicide

Vehicular Assault

Reckless Driving

Speeding 40 mph over the posted speed limit

Possession of more than 12 oz of Marijuana

Possession of no more than 3 oz of marijuana concentrate

Unlawful possession of Sch l or Sch ll Substance

Special Offender Firearm in vehicle

The driver reportedly was also driving a rental car that he purchased a special insurance rider for.

All I am asking is that the Jason Huntress face his charges and not be allowed a deferred sentence and that justice be served for Barbara, family, friends and our community.

 Lori Lujan

Colorado Springs

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