PARKER, Colo. (CBS4) – A teenager from Parker accused of killing two classmates in a drunk driving crash will be charged as a juvenile. Prosecutors had considered charging the 17-year-old as an adult.
As soon as 24-7 tracking is set up with Parker police, the suspect will be released to his parents. Yet the charges he’s facing could land him back behind bars for several years.
Colorado State Patrol says the teen blew through a stop sign going 80 miles per hour and went airborne before crashing through a fence and into a tree around 1 a.m. Sunday.
Beau Begier, 17, and Ryan Pappas, 18, were in the backseat. Both died at the scene along Roller Coaster Road in Black Forest. Another 17-year-old in the front seat survived and is recovering at a Colorado Springs hospital.
According to the crash report, all four teens were intoxicated.
As an investigation continues into how the teens got a hold of alcohol, the driver’s parents walked into an El Paso County courtroom for their son’s first court appearance where a judge decided the teen would be charged as a juvenile for vehicular homicide and vehicular assault.
“That’s what our Legislature decided. No matter how aggravated the vehicular homicide may be, if the defendant is a juvenile you can only file those charges in juvenile court,” El Paso County District Attorney Dan May said.
“He knows we’re all supporting him. The teachers are very supportive and everyone’s just being supportive of everyone,” the suspect’s friend Brendon Lee said.
The judge also ordered the teen to undergo a substance abuse evaluation as well as therapy and is not allowed to drive.
If investigators find an adult provided alcohol to the teens ahead of the crash, that person could also face charges.