WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4) – A trial is set to begin later this month for a man police say took an innocent woman’s life by stealing a truck and causing an accident in Westminster when he was trying to flee. It’s a case that has sent three members of one family to prison.
One of those three is the grandmother of a man who was convicted for being an accessory. A jury found Tina Daigle hid her grandson from authorities during a large manhunt, but she says that’s not the case.
“I don’t think I should go to prison. I didn’t have any involvement in any of it,” Tina Daigle told CBS4 investigator Rick Sallinger in an interview before her jail sentence began.
Prosecutors say Patrick Engle was driving the stolen truck in March 2016 and Ignacio Paul Daigle was a passenger.
The crash happened at 88th Avenue and Wadsworth Boulevard when the truck swerved across the median and struck a Jeep. Jessica Holman, 33, of Thornton, was in it and was killed.
The mother of a 10-year-old boy had been out getting dinner for her family.
“We lost Jessica. It has made me say I love you even more to the ones around me, and it’s sad that it takes a tragic loss like that to do that,” Holman’s friend Lindsey Sunday said in a remembrance ceremony held after her death. Her parents also said “words do not exist to describe the pain and sorrow they feel.”
After the crash, Engle was quickly arrested but Daigle managed to get away from police by climbing over a fence and fleeing. His escape was captured in a video taken by a passerby.
After a three-day manhunt, police found Daigle.
“The accident occurred. (Ignacio Paul) got out and ran he wasn’t trying to run from the responsibility of it,” Tina Daigle said.
Engle is now awaiting trial as the driver. He was first believed to be the passenger, but forensic evidence convinced authorities otherwise.
Prosecutors convinced a jury that Tina Daigle didn’t tell police what she knew about the location of her grandson.
“You are telling me you didn’t lie to the police?” Sallinger asked Tina Daigle.
“I didn’t lie to the police. We didn’t know where he was,” she said.
But prosecutors insisted she — as well as her daughter Tiffany (now serving two years behind bars) — knew for those three days of Ignacio Paul’s whereabouts and helped hide him.
Ignacio Paul is serving a sentence of 9 years. At Tina Daigel’s sentencing, the prosecution said she was at the house where Ignacio Paul was arrested to attend a party. They said it was a family goodbye party, since they knew Ignacio Paul would be soon going to prison.
“They are trying to insinuate we were partying,” Tina Daigel told CBS4. “There was no party going on. No one parties when someone dies.”
But police said they saw beer being brought in.
Tina Daigle was defiant in her interview with CBS4.
“I guess if I have to go to prison, I have to go to prison, but I really didn’t have anything to do with it. I’m very sorry,” she told CBS4.
She is now serving a 2 1/2 year prison sentence.