Police interview played at Chavez negligent homicide trial

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THORNTON, Colo. -- The Thornton mother accused of killing a family of five in deadly February 2011 accident described the ordeal as a “nightmare.”

That’s what Monica Chavez told a police investigator one week after the horrific crash that instantly killed all five members of the Stollsteimer family. The taped interview was played in court for the jurors hearing the case Thursday.

In the interview, Chavez said she didn’t remember the crash. She said the last thing she heard was her daughter talking to her husband on the phone.

Thornton police officer Joe Dougherty interviewed Chavez.

“She indicated the last thing she remembered hearing was (her daughter) saying mommy is shaking,” Dougherty testified Thursday.

In the hour-long taped interview, Chavez broke down and cried several times. She also apologized several times.

“I feel horrible,” Chavez said. “I did not do this on purpose. I wasn't drunk. I wasn't on drugs. I didn't do it on purpose, -- I wouldn't want to hurt anyone.”

Chavez is charged with five counts of criminally negligent homicide and two counts of child abuse. The case could go to the jury on Friday.

Prosecutors allege that Chavez had a history of seizures and was warned not to drive until she was checked by a neurosurgeon five years before the deadly crash. Defense attorneys argue there were no specific instructions from the emergency room doctor that treated Chavez for an episode in 2006.

In the taped interview, Officer Dougherty asked Chavez why she didn’t seek follow up treatment after her prior episodes.

“I was just scared,” Chavez responded. “I thought about a tumor in my head. I just didn’t want to know.”

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