CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (CBS4) – A jury in Douglas County deliberated nearly 5 hours Friday but went home without reaching a verdict in the trial involving the death of a Colorado state trooper. It was 4½ years ago when a northbound semi, driven by Noe Gamez-Ruiz, on Interstate 25 struck and killed Cody Donahue who was investigating another accident at the time.

(credit: CBS)

Shortly after his death, Donahue’s wife Velma spoke of her late husband, “He was wonderful, amazing. He was a friend, a father, a husband.”

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The driver, Gamez-Ruiz, was at first charged with criminally negligent homicide. It was later reduced by a judge to lesser charges due to the failure of the prosecution to turn over certain evidence.

Cody Donahue (credit: Colorado State Patrol)

In closing arguments, prosecutors said, “This man right here is the reason that trooper is dead. The product of a man not paying attention as he drove that death machine down the road.”

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But the attorney for the defendant argued the accident was unavoidable and unforeseeable and that Gamez-Ruiz “Tried to do everything possible to move over.”

“Move Over for Cody” became a new law to protect those helping on the side of the road.

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The jury will resume deliberations on Monday. Gamez-Ruiz faces careless driving charges involving the passing of an emergency vehicle and careless driving resulting in death.

Rick Sallinger