CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (CBS4) – A man accused of leading authorities on a high-speed chase and seriously injuring a state trooper in the process has been found guilty of attempted manslaughter in Douglas County.
“So many people were just trying to go to work that morning and didn’t deserve this,” said victim Stacey Rader.
Ryan Cole Stone, 28, was accused of carjacking several people during his metro-area crime spree in March of 2014. Police say he also hit a state trooper along the way. Bellamann Hee ended up with serious injuries, including several broken bones.
Rader’s car stopped Stone’s 75-mile long high-speed chase at an intersection in Lone Tree where he was eventually captured.
“He T-boned me and then at that point got out of his car and ran around and tried to get into another car and ran around,” said Rader.
Stone was facing 20 counts, including attempted first-degree murder, which the jury instead said he was guilty of attempted manslaughter. He was also found guilty of assault, leaving the scene of an accident causing serious bodily injury, and guilty of two robberies. He was found not guilty of second-degree kidnapping of child. He was found guilty of most of the lesser charges.
The chase that crossed over five different counties finally ended in Lone Tree where Stone was taken into custody. The chase went on for 1 1/2 hours during morning rush hour, and speeds exceeded 100 miles per hour.
Prosecutors said Stone not only stole several cars during the chase, but kidnapped a toddler who was in the back of an SUV that he carjacked. The child’s mother left the car running and was inside a gas station where the crime spree began. The jury said Stone wasn’t guilty of kidnapping the child.
“When you look at the fact that there was a child that could have been hurt, all the people on the road, the people he hijacked their cars… the injuries could have been off the charts,” said 18th Judicial District Asst. DA Mark Hurlbert.
Prosecutors said video of the chase from Copter4 and Hee being seriously injured in the process was their burden of proof. The guilty verdict of attempted manslaughter was for the injuries to Hee.
Hee has not regained the full use of his leg. The diagnosis is that hopefully in four to five months he may be able to go back to full duty for the Colorado State Patrol.
Rader said she came to court for the conviction to support Hee, “I feel like what happened to him and all of the pain and suffering and watching him in the courtroom… for him if nothing else it needed to happen.”
Stone’s defense said, no matter what the video shows, the suspect’s intent and mental state needed to be known for him to be convicted of the greater charge.
Drugs including cocaine, prescription drugs and marijuana were found in Stone’s system when he was arrested but prosecutors were not able to present that evidence at trial.
Stone could face up to 96 years in prison when sentenced with a minimum of 64 years in prison. His habitual criminal background added five enhancer counts which could lengthen his sentence.