Stephen Verdo Johnson was sentenced today to twelve years in the Colorado Department of Corrections by Judge Stephen Schapanski after pleading guilty on August 31, 2010 to Vehicular Homicide, a class 3 felony, and Leaving the Scene of an Accident, a class 5 felony.
On May 1, 2010, the Colorado State Patrol was notified of a serious injury crash on Larimer County Road 17, just north of Colorado Highway 287. A vehicle driven by Johnson ran off the right side of the road where it traveled into the barrow ditch and struck a motorcycle head-on. Johnson then fled the scene, continuing north on CR17 for approximately a half of mile before stopping. At impact, the motorcycle passenger sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at Poudre Valley Hospital and the driver of the motorcycle sustained serious injuries. Stephen Johnson’s blood alcohol content was three times the legal limit when taken at the hospital after the accident.
Deputy District Attorney Shaun Reinhart stated to the court that Johnson put the community at risk and killed an innocent woman and seriously injured her husband when he chose to drink and drive that morning. Reinhart urged the Judge to send a clear message that this behavior cannot be tolerated. Reinhart also mentioned that after meeting numerous times with the victim and his family, it became very clear how much he loved his wife of 57 years and how this tragic loss has affected them.