Driver in Feb. double fatal to enter plea deal
The Mesa County District Attorney’s Office has reached a plea agreement with a man charged in a February drunken-driving accident that killed a Grand Junction mother and daughter, according to court records.
Derrick Maxfield, 20, of Parachute, is expected to enter a plea later this month. He had been charged with two counts of vehicular homicide while driving under the influence and two counts of vehicular homicide while driving recklessly, among 10 other charges.
District Judge Richard Gurley has asked both sides in the case to schedule a plea hearing for sometime between next Tuesday and Oct. 23, according to the records.
The terms of the agreement are not spelled out in a “notice of disposition” filed Friday by Deputy District Attorney Mark Hand.
Hand wrote that a presentence investigation report will be needed before Maxfield’s sentencing hearing.
Maxfield in August pleaded not guilty, and a jury trial was scheduled in Gurley’s courtroom for two weeks starting Jan. 25.
According to an arrest affidavit, Maxfield on Feb. 28 sped away from officers who tried to pull him over, and he ran several red lights before his Honda Civic crashed into a pickup at Fifth Street and North Avenue, killing 21-year-old Shandi Boetel and her daughter, 6-month-old Natalia Casiano.
The pickup’s driver, Luis Casiano, 24, was injured and hospitalized.
Also hospitalized, Maxfield registered a blood-alcohol content of 0.21 percent, nearly three times Colorado’s legal threshold for DUI, during an initial blood screen, according to the affidavit.
The District Attorney’s plea offer in the case came after Maxfield’s public defenders last month challenged the legality of blood evidence collected from Maxfield by Grand Junction Police Department officers in the hours immediately following the accident.
Samples of Maxfield’s blood were drawn three times, all within an hour and a half, starting at approximately 1:50 a.m. and ending around 3:10 a.m. on Feb. 28. The accident was reported at 12:46 a.m.
Maxfield’s public defenders argue the delay renders the results useless under state law.
“A test not administered within a reasonable time is unreliable, invalid and irrelevant,” reads a defense motion.
Moreover, the defense argues Maxfield’s blood-alcohol evidence should be tossed because the manner in which police collected the evidence violated federal privacy rights.
Maxfield gave verbal consent to police to have his blood drawn, the affidavit said.
“Mr. Maxfield, however, maintains he retained a legitimate expectation that he would not experience three separate blood draws,” the defense wrote.
Prosecutors have not responded to the defense’s claims.