DENVER (AP) — A former Colorado police officer who put a handcuffed girl in a parked police car that was hit by a freight prepare, inflicting the lady critical accidents, has prevented a jail sentence and should serve 30 months on supervised probation.
Jordan Steinke, 29, was sentenced Friday by Weld County District Courtroom Decide Timothy Kerns, who discovered her responsible of reckless endangerment and assault for the Sept. 16, 2022, crash close to Platteville. Kerns acquitted the previous Fort Lupton police officer of prison try to commit manslaughter after her bench trial in July.
Kerns mentioned he had deliberate to condemn Steinke to jail, however he modified his thoughts after each prosecutors and protection attorneys sought a probationary sentence, The Denver Publish reported.
“Somebody goes to listen to this and say: ‘One other officer will get off,’ ” Kerns mentioned. “That’s not the info of this case.”
He ordered Steinke to carry out 100 hours of group service. And if she violates the phrases of her probation, “I’ll harken again to my authentic intestine response as to how you can tackle sentencing,” Kerns warned.
Steinke, who wept through the sentencing listening to, apologized to Yareni Rios-Gonzalez, who attended the listening to nearly.
“What occurred that evening has haunted me for 364 days,” Steinke mentioned. “I keep in mind your cries and your screams.”
Steinke mentioned she hoped to satisfy a few of her group service by giving academic talks to new law enforcement officials in regards to the risks of railroad tracks and the significance of officers being conscious of their environment.
Then-Plateville Police Sgt. Pablo Vazquez had stopped Rios-Gonzalez after a reported road-rage incident involving a gun. Steinke took her into custody and locked her in Vazquez’s police car, which was parked on the railroad tracks. A prepare crashed into the SUV.
Rios-Gonzalez, who suffered an enduring mind damage and is in ache, was conflicted about how she needed Steinke to be punished, legal professional Chris Ponce mentioned.
“The battle that she feels is one the place day-after-day she has to really feel this ache,” Ponce mentioned. “And he or she’s needed to cope with (physician) appointments and having her life so radically modified. And feeling upset, very upset about that — indignant about that — however then again, feeling for Ms. Steinke, and, I believe, actually empathetically feeling sorry for a way she misplaced her profession.”
Steinke was fired from the Fort Lupton police division after her conviction. She is predicted to lose her Peace Officer Requirements and Coaching certification, her legal professional Mallory Revel mentioned, which means she will be able to by no means be a police officer once more.
Throughout Steinke’s trial, her protection attorneys mentioned she didn’t know that Vazquez had parked his police car on the tracks.
Vazquez nonetheless faces trial for his function within the crash. He has been charged with 5 counts of reckless endangerment for allegedly placing Rios-Gonzalez, Steinke and three different folks in danger, in addition to for traffic-related violations, together with parking the place prohibited.
Rios-Gonzalez has additionally filed a lawsuit in opposition to the police companies concerned.