BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – Jurors returned a guilty verdict for the man accused in the death of a Colorado State Patrol cadet.
Jurors found Christopher Gebers, 28, guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Taylor Thyfault. He was found guilty of 14 of the 16 counts against him. The jury returned a not guilty verdict on vehicular homicide DUI and vehicular assault DUI.
Gebers did not take the stand during his trial. The jury got the case Tuesday afternoon.
With no obvious signs of emotion, Gebers listened as he was convicted on Wednesday.
Prosecutors claimed 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.
Thyfault was a cadet and promoted to trooper after his death. Now a sergeant, Clinton Rushing is still recovering.
“It is truly a miracle Rushing is alive and survived being hit by the defendant’s vehicle, but Sgt. Rushing will never be the same,” Lt. Col. Brenda Leffler with the Colorado State Patrol said.
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.
Following the verdict, Thyfault’s mother, Carole Adler, had a message for her son.
“Taylor, your death serves as a reminder of evil’s existence, but the way you lived your life also serves as a reminder of evil’s extinction. We will live fiercely as you watch over us,” Adler said.
His defense argued the Colorado State Patrol made procedural mistakes in the traffic stop.
During opening statements, Gebers’ defense attorney said, “He made bad choices and decisions but those bad choices do not equal first-degree murder.”
Gebers initially pleaded not guilty to 16 charges. Gebers was not immediately sentenced despite the request from the prosecution.
“The defendant was convicted of acting with extreme indifference to the value of human life. In direct contrast, Trooper Thyfault spent most of his life valuing the lives of those around him,” Leffler said.