BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – Opening statements began on Wednesday in the trial for a man accused in the death of a Colorado State Patrol cadet.
Christopher Gebers, 28, is on trial for 16 charges including first-degree murder in the death of Taylor Thyfault.
The majority of the people in the courtroom were from Thyfault’s family and the Colorado State Patrol. They said they were there to remember Thyfault.
Prosecutors say Gebers acted recklessly when he crashed his car into two troopers in May 2015. They also say he was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol when he fled a traffic stop and then crashed into another accident scene.
Prosecutors also say Thyfault was a hero who saved the life of a tow truck driver by warning him to get out of the way just before he was struck and killed.
Gebers sat quietly in the courtroom in a dress shirt and tie as both sides made opening statements.
His defense has argued the Colorado State Patrol made procedural mistakes in the traffic stop. They believe those mistakes are enough to throw out some evidence.
In court the defense attorney said, “He made bad choices and decisions but those bad choices do not equal first-degree murder.”
Thyfault died at the scene and Trooper Clinton Rushing was injured.
Gebers has pleaded not guilty to 16 charges.