Judge declares mistrial in death of trooper Cody Donahue

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CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — A judge declared a mistrial Thursday for a commercial truck driver accused of hitting and killing a Colorado State Patrol trooper in November 2016.

Sources said the mistrial happened because the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office failed to turn over information to the truck driver’s lawyer.

“We are frustrated and disappointed for the victims in this case,” District Attorney George Brauchler said Thursday evening.

The trial began Tuesday.

Investigators said Noe Gamez-Ruiz was driving northbound on Interstate 25 near Castle Rock in the far right lane when he hit and killed Colorado State Patrol trooper Cody Donahue.

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

The prosecution argued during the trial Wednesday that Gamez-Ruiz should be found guilty of criminally negligent homicide.

Gamez-Ruiz’s attorney said it was a tragic accident, but it did not rise to the level of criminally negligent homicide.

The defense said Gamez-Ruiz was not distracted, drunk or high when he struck Donahue and said he was going at least 10 mph under the speed limit.

The defense further argued that portions of Donahue’s body were inside the traffic lane because of his size and the way he was standing.

“It’s a terrible, tragic accident, but it’s that and nothing more,” said Gamez-Ruiz’s defense to the jury on Wednesday.

A new trial was schedule to begin Feb. 12. A motions  hearing is scheduled for Oct. 26.

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