Felony charge dropped against man accused of driving into, killing CSP trooper

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DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — A felony charge for criminally negligent homicide has been dropped against the man accused of striking and killing a Colorado State Patrol trooper on Interstate 25 in 2016.

According to the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, Douglas District Court Judge Shay Whitaker issued an order of sanctions Friday related to the case’s Feb. 15 mistrial. It was the case’s second mistrial because prosecutors did not disclose evidence to the defense.

CSP trooper Cody Donahue was killed after he was allegedly struck by Noe Gamez-Ruiz, who was driving a commercial vehicle northbound on Interstate 25 near Castle Rock in November 2016. Gamez-Ruiz was in the far-right lane when he struck Donahue, according to authorities.

Donahue was standing in the shoulder filling out a report for a crash he was assisting another trooper with when he was struck.

Gamez-Ruiz now faces two other charges: careless passing of an emergency vehicle resulting in death and careless driving resulting in death.

Prosecutors did a recreation of the crash using Gamez-Ruiz’s truck.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s deputy who was driving it said the truck pulled to the right. That’s the same side of the truck that struck Trooper Donahue.

But Gamez-Ruiz’s defense attorney, Harvey Steinberg, said he didn’t learn about that until during the second trial.

“That information becomes exceedingly pertinent and important,” Steinberg told FOX31. “And it had never been disclosed before that testimony in the midst of trial.”

District Attorney George Brauchler’s office told FOX31 he had not seen the order Friday evening and did not want to comment on it.

Gamez-Ruiz’s misdemeanor trial is set to start this summer.

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