Drunk driver gets 40 years in prison for killing 22-year-old in Aurora crosswalk

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(Photo: Aurora Police Department)

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ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — An Aurora man convicted of second-degree murder after he drove drunk, and hit and killed a 22-year-old in an Aurora crosswalk, was sentenced to prison last week, the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office said Tuesday.

Christopher Tarr, 42, was given a 40-year prison sentence by Arapahoe District Judge Ben Leutwyler after he was convicted by a jury on Dec. 12.

Tarr ran a red light at South Chambers Road and East Iliff Avenue just before midnight on Aug. 21, 2016, hitting Dalton McCreary, who was crossing the street with his friend Jordan Mulumulu, prosecutors said.

McCreary saw the Toyota 4-Runner coming at him and Mulumulu, and tried to get themselves out of the way. McCreary was pronounced dead at the scene and Mulumulu suffered a minor injury.

Based on traffic camera footage, prosecutors said Tarr was going faster than 67 mph in the 40 mph zone at the time of the crash.

Besides being found guilty of second-degree murder, Tarr was also convicted of second-degree attempted murder, DUI, reckless driving, careless driving and two counts of vehicular homicide.

Witnesses told police that Tarr tried to leave the scene after the crash. When officers arrived, Tarr claimed he had not been drinking and that another vehicle caused the accident.

Tarr’s blood alcohol content was determined to be 0.30 to 0.32 — nearly four times the legal limit, prosecutors said.

Several of McCreary’s family members addressed the court and asked for justice.

“In Colorado, drunk drivers like Tarr continue to kill and maim the innocent,” District Attorney George Brauchler said. “Tarr knew better. … He knew well the risks drunk driving creates in our community, but he didn’t care.

“He didn’t care so much he tried to get away after he ran over the victim. Prison is the right outcome and the right message for those among us who continue to put our loved ones at risk by driving drunk.”

Tarr had a previous drunk driving conviction after he ran into several vehicles and a house, prosecutors said.

In 2013, he pleaded guilty to reckless driving. In 2010, he pleaded guilty to DUI and careless driving. In 1996, he pleaded guilty to operation of an unsafe vehicle.

“The judge delivered a powerful message to this defendant and to the community that we will not tolerate those who repeatedly put innocent drivers and pedestrians at risk by the selfish decision to drink and drive,” Chief Deputy District Attorney John Kellner said.

“Like all deaths caused by DUI drivers, this was an entirely avoidable tragedy. I hope this sentence is a wake-up call for anyone who thinks it’s no big deal to get behind the wheel when they’re drunk or high.”

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