Crime

Francis Hernandez: Guilty verdict in ice cream shop crash that killed three celebrated by Aurora Police

As the Darrent Williams murder trial is getting underway, another high-profile trial has come to an end.

A jury has found Francis Hernandez responsible for the deaths of three people in a 2008 crash at a Baskin Robbins. Among the victims: three-year-old Marten Kudlis, whose funeral the Rocky Mountain News notoriously covered using Twitter.

Shortly after the verdict, the Aurora Police Department issued a statement expressing gratitude for the jury's work and confirming that an officer accused by Hernandez's legal team of excluding a key quote from his notes in his written report ("I take the blame") will be investigated by Internal Affairs in what's described as a standard procedure. Read the release below:

Official Statement from the Aurora Police Department

Aurora, Colo. -- In response to the verdict announced today in Arapahoe County Court in regards to the Hernandez case, the Aurora Police Department has released the following statement:

The evidence presented by the prosecution in this case was overwhelming. We are very pleased with and thankful for the work of the jury, and we congratulate them on their effort and on this verdict. We hope that the families and friends of the victims will find some comfort in this outcome.

The Aurora Police Department also extends its gratitude and appreciation to the prosecution team from the Arapahoe County District Attorney's Office for their work on this case. We particularly want to thank and congratulate Assistant District Attorneys Rich Orman and Karen Pearson for their successful prosecution of a very complex case. The trial process raised some concerns about the case preparation in this matter. As a result, a comprehensive internal review of the entire case will be undertaken under the direction of the Chief.

In addition, there were questions raised about one officer's work on the case. As is standard regarding such allegations, they will be investigated by our Internal Affairs Unit and dealt with appropriately.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts