Crime

Photos: Kevin Winnie pleads guilty in DUI death of friend Jaryd Tiff

Jaryd Tiff was only on this earth for 21 years, but during that short span, he made an impression that will be remembered for many decades to come. An indication of his impact: In March, a gathering in his honor drew hundreds of people.

Tiff was killed that month in a DUI crash that led to a vehicular homicide charge against the driver, 22-year-old Kevin Winnie. Now, Winnie has pleaded guilty in the case -- but there's no guarantee he'll be serving jail time for his crime. Photos, a video and details below.

According to Tiff's obituary, he grew up in Longmont, graduating in 2010 from Skyline High School, where he was a member of the basketball team.

At the time of his death, Tiff was working as a waiter at Pumphouse Brewery, where he was popular with employees and customers alike. "He loved 'hanging out' with his family and his near and dear friends," the memorial notes. "He had a way to brighten anyone's day and made it a point to engage anyone who was having a difficult day or moment. His work peers were always excited to see if he would be on their shift, as they could be assured it would be fun and eventful."

His promising life ended March 9 on Highway 36 near Longhorn Road. As reported by the Boulder Daily Camera, he and friend Austin Shanley, 21, were riding in a Volkswagen Jetta driven by Winnie at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour when the vehicle crossed the center line and crashed head on into an Audi RS5.

The driver of the Audi suffered only minor injuries, but Tiff and Shanley, neither of whom were wearing seat belts, were ejected from the Jetta. Shanley was hospitalized with critical injuries but survived. Unfortunately, Tiff did not.

As witnessed by his booking photo, seen below, Winnie also was banged up in the collision -- and tests afterward indicated that he was legally intoxicated. As such, he was charged with a slew of driving-under-the-influence-related charges.

On Tuesday, Winnie pleaded guilty to a pair of counts: vehicular homicide and vehicular assault.

Sentencing in the case is up to the discretion of Boulder District Judge Thomas Mulvahill. He could receive prison time, but intensely supervised probation is also a possibility.

Tiff's parents have publicly expressed sympathy for Winnie and his family, but understandably, they would also like to maintain some distance. At yesterday's hearing, the Camera notes, Winnie was ordered to stop attempting to contact the families of Tiff and Shanley. He's scheduled for sentencing on September 13.

Look below to a Daily Camera video of the March memorial gathering for Tiff. Our condolences to his loved ones. Afterward, we've included a copy of Winnie's booking photo.

More from our Colorado Crimes archive circa February: "Britni Bunn Facebooked margarita photos hours before fatal drunk-driving crash."

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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

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