| Crime |

Norma Vera-Nolasco gets 12 years in valet hit-and-run she was too drunk to remember

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

The maximum sentence to which Norma Vera-Nolasco could be sentenced for the hit-and-run death of valet Jose Medina was twelve years -- and twelve years is what she got. Why? Likely because she was so drunk at the time of the crash she didn't even remember it happening, as well as her attempts to escape justice with a little help from her friends.

As we've reported, Medina was a valet at the Rockstar Lounge. Just shy of midnight on January 22, he was on the job when he was struck and killed by a white pickup driven by Vera-Nolasco. Not that this collision registered with her at the time. According to her arrest affidavit, she thought she'd hit something on Lincoln, the street where Medina died, since her side mirror was dangling. But she told one person she didn't realize the something in question was a human being until seeing news reports about the hit-and-run featuring images of a white pickup.

Once it became clear she was in deep trouble, Vera-Nolasco turned to Eliu Montes-Garcia to help her hide the vehicle in Commerce City. Additional helpers included Guadalupe Bastida, her half brother, who reportedly threw out a white plastic bag containing the pickup's registration and other documents showing that the undocumented Vera-Nolasco had been living in the Denver area. And Yolanda Bastida-Nolasco later admitted to driving Vera-Nolasco to Denver International Airport, buying a ticket to Mexico City on her Visa card, and giving Vera-Nolasco her ID.

In the end, Vera-Nolasco only got as far as the Phoenix, Arizona airport before being taken into custody -- and her three assistants, all of whom were also in the U.S. illegally, were charged as well.

The quartet subsequently pleaded guilty to an assortment of crimes. Bastida and Bastida-Nolasco were sentenced to 545 and 365 days in jail, respectively, for aiding Vera-Nolasco's escape, while Montes-Garcia received a three-year jolt, with a sentence reconsideration after 120 days, on one accessory-to-crime count. That means Vera-Nolasco received the heaviest sentence by far -- a decision supported by Medina's family, whose members are still reeling from his tragic and unnecessary death.

Look below to see mug shots of the four suspects in the case, followed by the aforementioned arrest affidavit and probable cause statements.

Vera-Nolasco Arrest Affidavit:

Vera-Nolasco Arrest Affidavit

Montes-Garcia Probable Cause Statement:

Montes-Garcia Probable Cause Statement

Bastida Probable Cause Statement:

Bastida Probable Cause Statement

Bastida-Nolasco Probable Cause Statement:

Bastida-Nolasco Probable Cause Statement

More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Brandon Mondragon charged in hit-and-run that injured Tim Albo, Heather Kornman."

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.