COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (KDVR) – Friends and family members of two people killed by a suspected drunk driver are outraged the defendant could get out of jail while he awaits trial.
Fructuoso Rosales-Cano was arrested on Wednesday, Dec. 2 after he was released from the hospital. He is charged with vehicular homicide and driving under the influence in the crash that killed Commerce City Police Department Det. Curt Holland and Francesca Dominguez on Oct. 16.
In court, the deputy district attorney said Rosales-Cano’s blood alcohol content was .294, three times the legal limit. She also said he had at least one prior DUI conviction and was considered a flight risk, yet she did not ask for his bond to be increased from the scheduled $20,000.
GPS monitoring was added as a condition of bond on Monday, Dec. 7. The district attorney and judge agreed to the terms but the amount of the bond did not change.
Rich Rodriguez, the president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 19, said, “It’s not fair. We’re going to be missing one of our own. You have a family who is going to be missing their daughter, sister while this person is out and about enjoying their holiday, you could say it’s not fair.”
Rodriguez said the move feels like a “slap in the face.”
“It’s going to sound abrasive when I say that, but all of our people go out and risk our lives to protect everyone else and should be able to take care of our own. It’s out of our control. We will still go out there and do our jobs 110%, but it’s just a step back to see our justice system handle something like this,” he said.
The families of Dominguez and Holland said the news was disappointing. Holland’s father, Carl Holland, is a retired law enforcement officer himself.
He said, “I was very surprised and I will say disappointed the bond wasn’t higher. But that said, I also know I have no control over that. As a grieving parent, I have no control over the court system. I tend to look on the positive side, it is now my job as the father to rely on the court system. I could be angry, but it doesn’t accomplish anything. I just choose to see how the process plays out.”
Carl Holland said he worked in criminal justice and law enforcement for years.
“I did not always agree with what the court did, what the court said. It’s the system we work within. If we don’t have faith in that system, what can we have faith in?” he said.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving Colorado said the news was infuriating and they would be watching this case closely to make sure the victims’ family members get justice for their loved ones.
MADD Colorado Executive Director Fran Lanzer said, “This was a really tough one to process. It’s heartbreaking. We have two families who are not going to be able to spend the holidays with their loved ones not only this year, but the rest of their lives. They basically have a life sentence and here we have the person allegedly responsible for that is actually going to be getting out and spending the holidays with his family. One of the problems we face is because this crime happened in a car, people don’t take it as seriously as they might if it was committed with a gun. If someone was walking down the street with a shotgun and randomly shooting and killed two people, they would not be bonding out for $20,000. Yet because someone drove a car, highly intoxicated, very good chance of killing or injuring someone, very dangerous — just not taken as seriously because it was a car. Yet the results are the same.”
MADD provides support services to drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge through local victim advocates and the 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP. You can also get information online.
This is a personal mission for Lanzer.
“A couple of my family friends were killed by a drunk driver in 2012. For myself, I just always try to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I think for the victims and survivors we work with is, we want them to know they aren’t alone. We’re there with them, we’re going to stand up for them and make sure their voice is heard. We’re going to fight for justice with them,” Lanzer said.
MADD is also concerned about the potential danger to the community.
“We know — according to the CDC — the average drunk driver has driven drunk at least 80 times before a first arrest. Here we are looking at potentially three incidents, which mean there are likely many, many more drunk driving incidents. And his blood alcohol content was allegedly 3 1/2 times the legal limit. We really do need to be concerned here. This is a repeat offender, someone that is danger to our community many, many times. I think the danger to the community is very real,” Lanzer said.
Carl Holland was very close to his son, and they often shared stories about what they encountered at work.
“Curt was a top-level traffic investigator. He told me a particular accident he investigated. It was a fatality crash investigation. What really bothered him about it was he said, ‘It was a guy just going home from work and a drunk driver crossed the center line.’ Curt had just finished his shift and was making his way home, ironically exactly the same circumstances. Why did he become a police officer? He wanted to protect and serve, that is who he was,” Carl Holland said.
Carl Holland said he and his family have been overwhelmed by the support from the community, law enforcement agencies, friends and complete strangers.
“Curt was a person of integrity. He truly loved people. When we were out there, we met officers that came by the house. I would talk up and introduce myself as Curt’s dad. Invariably the first thing they would do is smile and that’s just the kind of person he was. It is comforting getting to know the Dominguez family that she was the same way,” he said.
Holland’s colleagues said he was a joy to be around.
Rodriguez said, “He was a brother, a brother in blue. He was a genuine, caring, funny person — just a great colleague and officer to have alongside you. We all miss him. We will never forget him.”
Carl Holland said, “Curt’s colleagues did their jobs and they should take comfort in that. Curt truly loved them. They should take comfort in that. Let’s just let the court do what the court does. If my family is not comfortable with something the court is doing, I can sure you they will know we are not comfortable with it.”
While their faith is being tested, Carl Holland said he has faith justice will be served.
“I truly believe you pay the consequences for whatever you’ve done. You made a bad decision, you pay the consequences of that. If you drink too much and kill two people, you pay the consequence for that. The other consequence for that is you get to try to live with that the rest of your life,” he said.