CASTLE ROCK, Colo. -- Eric Henderson, the man who pleaded guilty to driving drunk and killing a Colorado State Patrol trooper in November, was sentenced to eight years in prison by a Douglas County judge on Tuesday.
Henderson pleaded guilty last month to vehicular homicide and tampering with evidence. His attorney said Henderson pleaded guilty to spare his family and trooper Jaimie Jursevics' family a trial.
Investigators said Henderson, a retired Army colonel, was driving home from a Broncos game drunk when he hit Jursevics and then kept driving. He had his bail cut from $1 million to $500,000 over the objections of District Attorney George Brauchler and had been free since Nov. 18.
Jursevics left behind a husband and a young child.
"I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation to all of the people, organizations and agencies involved in navigating this process to as favorable of a resolution as possible under the current Colorado State laws," Jursevics' husband, D.J. Jursevics, said. "No sentence handed down in this case will ever be harsh enough or bring Jaimie back. However, I have the utmost confidence that the very best resources from law enforcement and prosecution were utilized and I appreciate all of their efforts and support."
He offered special thanks to emergency personnel who worked to try to help his wife, as well as those who worked on this case.
"I know that Jaimie would have been very proud of how the people she had so much respect for and loved working with have handled this tragic situation with utmost compassion and integrity," D.J. Jursevics said. "Thank you for all the support of the people of Colorado, to both us as a family and the law enforcement community."
Henderson was a colonel with the the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command. He retired in June 2013 and was honored during a ceremony at The Club on Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs.
Henderson was presented with the Legion of Merit for his service in the command.