CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (CBS4) – A Thornton man on trial for a crash that killed a couple near Franktown in 2018 was found guilty on 17 different charges in court Monday. Skylar Pagano, 27, was under the substance of methamphetamines and marijuana in May 2018 when he crashed into the car that killed Julee Davis and Festus Poyner. Their 2-year-old son, Cadence, who was in his car seat, suffered nearly 100 fractures including his C2 vertebrae.

Skylar Pagano (credit: Adams County)

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On Tuesday, a jury found Pagano guilty on all 17 charges he was facing, including two counts of vehicular homicide.

The couple’s family now shares custody of Cadence as well as his little sister Adaleigh, who was not in the car at the time. They were all in attendance for the week-long trial.

“We got what we wanted. We got justice for them — for those who can’t speak and be here with us and for Cadence,” said Jayme Davis, the sister of Julee Davis.

Cadence and Adaleigh Poyner (credit: Jayme Davis)

More importantly, Cadence has made a full recovery.

“It’s super healing, I think for all of us because Cadence shouldn’t be here with us, and to watch him grow and be as happy as he can? I think it gives us all strength,” said Davis.

Cadence is now three-and-a-half, and while he doesn’t fully grasp what happened, his family puts it in terms that make perfect sense to him. If you ask him where his parents are, he will tell you they are in heaven with Jesus.

Julee and Festus Poyner (credit: Facebook)

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The verdict more than a year-and-a-half later was the outcome the family was hoping for, but the pain will always be there.

“Festus always talked about building a car for Cadence when he turned 16. Julee won’t be there to see her get married. It’s little things that you think about,” she said.

Despite losing her sister, Jayme Davis says she can forgive. She plans to address Pagano at his sentencing, which is set for Feb. 18.

“There’s some things I’m going to say to him that I’m going to think about the next month and a half. But I forgive him… I do. I mean in my heart, I have to because I can’t let that eat me up.”

While seeing the children grow has helped the family heal, they also credit the kindness of strangers. Julee and Festus had just moved to Colorado and barely had time to settle in before they were killed.

“I don’t believe you have to know somebody to care. It’s just one of those things,” Davis said. “All the people on the scene, there were many witnesses that saw things people shouldn’t have to see and those that helped? We thank you.”

(credit: Franktown Fire)

That includes everyone from members of the Franktown Fire Department to a passerby named Guy,

“He was the one who pretty much brought Cadence back to us. He got him out of the car seat. He knew what he was doing. There were off-duty nurses who put blankets around Cadence — there was a lot of love at that scene,” she said.

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The families of Julee and Festus hope their story reminds others of the consequences of drinking and driving.

Jamie Leary