Ex-cop still charged in Eagle teen’s death
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. ” A former Lafayette police officer still faces first-degree murder charges despite pleading guilty Friday to vehicular homicide and vehicular eluding in a car wreck that killed college sweethearts.
Patrick Strawmatt, 42, of Westminster told District Judge Brian Flynn that pleading guilty “is the right thing to do,” though he entered his plea without a deal with prosecutors. His trial on 19 remaining charges that include two counts of first-degree murder, and second-degree assault is scheduled for December.
Strawmatt is accused of ramming a small car from behind with an SUV while fleeing arrest at more than 100 mph.
Two people in the small car, Jennifer Kois of Brighton and her boyfriend, Jacob Brock of Eagle, were killed. Both were 19 and attended Mesa State.
Kois’ stepfather and mother, Peter and Liane VonFeldt, and Brock’s parents, Vern and Marilyn Brock, were in court as Strawmatt entered his pleas, The Daily Sentinel reported. The families declined to comment as they left the courtroom.
“From the first day of this case, Mr. Strawmatt made it clear to law enforcement he did not want to go to trial,” Strawmatt’s attorney, David Eisner, a public defender, told the court. He said Strawmatt wanted to plead guilty and accept responsibility.
The collision occurred March 22 in Mesa County. Strawmatt had been free on $15,000 bond on charges of assaulting an officer and eluding police in a separate Feb. 15 incident in Park County.
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