BRIGHTON, Colo. (TCD) — A 28-year-old man was sentenced to spend four decades in prison after he killed two people during a car chase with police in 2021.
According to Brighton Police Chief Paul Southard, on Oct. 26, 2021, at 11:20 a.m., an officer received a call about a suspicious vehicle and when he saw the car, he learned it was stolen from another jurisdiction. The Brighton Police officer called for backup, and when the second police car arrived, the driver of the stolen car allegedly “rammed the officer’s vehicle.”
The first officer put on his lights to conduct a traffic stop, but the driver fled. The officer pursued the stolen car, and at one point, the stolen car ran a stop sign and hit another vehicle. A female passenger in that car was ejected and taken to the hospital with critical injuries.
Southard said the stolen car continued to drive, but the driver lost control and ran into a male pedestrian. The victim was also taken to a hospital in critical condition.
Both victims were later pronounced deceased.
Police took the driver, Nicholas Villarini, into custody and said he was being treated for injuries sustained in the crash.
The 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office charged Villarini with two counts of first-degree murder, one count of first-degree assault, vehicular eluding, and driving under restraint.
According to KDVR-TV, Villarini pleaded guilty in December to two counts of vehicular homicide and one count of DUI vehicular assault.
KDVR identified the victims as 25-year-old Gustavo Mosqueda and 21-year-old Dulce Castro. Castro had reportedly recently overcome cancer before she was killed.
Family members called Mosqueda “the most genuine person ever” and “incredible.”
The Brighton Police Department reportedly fired the officer who pursued Villarini after a report found there “was no violent felony crime being committed or other act of violence that required the suspect to be immediately pursued.”
KDVR reports a judge sentenced Villarini to 40 years behind bars, though Castro and Mosqueda’s families aren’t pleased.
Castro’s cousin Julian Perez told KDVR, “They deserve justice. A few years in prison won’t be enough to fix all the damage he did.”
Mosqueda’s sister, Ana, said, “I wish absolutely the worst for him. That is all.”
Castro’s cousin Blanca called the sentencing “a slap in the face,” adding, “This is not justice.”
Man who killed 2 during police chase sentenced to 40 years – KDVRBrighton Police are providing an update on the Bridge & Bierstadt St. crash., 10/26/2021 – Brighton Police Department17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office Files First-Degree Murder Charges Against Nicholas Villarini – 17th Judicial District Attorney’s OfficePlea deal in deadly police chase angers victim’s family, 12/9/2022 – KDVR21-year-old killed in Brighton police chase had just beaten cancer, 10/27/2021 – KDVR
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