DENVER — A Colorado police officer accused of placing a handcuffed girl in a parked police automotive that was hit by a freight practice didn’t know the automotive was parked on the tracks, the officer’s lawyer mentioned in courtroom Monday.
Whereas proof will present Officer Jordan Steinke stood on the railroad tracks throughout an evening visitors cease on Sept. 16, 2022, she didn’t know that an officer she was aiding had parked his patrol automotive on the tracks, protection lawyer Mallory Revel mentioned in opening statements in state courtroom in Greeley. The girl inside, Yareni Rios-Gonzalez, suffered intensive accidents, together with a traumatic mind damage.
The tracks had been fully flush with the highway, nothing to journey over, and there have been no illuminated crossing indicators or gates on the railroad crossing within the rural space, simply two reflective indicators on both aspect of the tracks, Revel mentioned.
Prosecutors won’t be able to show that she acted recklessly by leaving the girl within the patrol automotive, Revel mentioned.
“You can’t disregard a threat of which you might be unaware, regardless of how apparent that threat might later appear,” mentioned Revel, who confused the case hinged on what Steinke knew within the second.
In her opening assertion, Deputy District Lawyer Lacy Wells famous Steinke had walked throughout the practice tracks a number of instances throughout the incident, together with when she escorted Rios-Gonzalez to the patrol automotive after arresting her. She didn’t lay out precisely what Steinke knew, however she mentioned prosecutors would current proof about her frame of mind.
“The courtroom will see and listen to proof from which the courtroom can infer the defendant’s psychological state on the time she elected to position Yareni Rios-Gonzalez within the Platteville patrol automotive parked on the railroad tracks, as an alternative of her personal patrol unit that was safely parked to the west of the railroad tracks,” Wells mentioned.
Beforehand launched police video exhibits officers looking out Rios-Gonzalez’s truck because the practice approaches with its horn is blaring. Different footage exhibits officers scrambling because the practice approaches and slams into the automobile.
Steinke, who was working for the Fort Lupton Police Division, was following her coaching, which taught her to deal with patting down the suspect, getting her within the nearest patrol automotive after which ensuring there was nobody else in Rios-Gonzalez’s automobile who could possibly be ready to ambush police, Revel mentioned.
The officer from the close by Platteville Police Division who parked the patrol automotive on the tracks can also be being prosecuted for misdemeanor counts of reckless endangerment. Steinke is being prosecuted for prison try to commit manslaughter, a felony; reckless endangerment; and third-degree assault, each misdemeanors.
There isn’t a jury for the trial, which is scheduled to finish Friday. Testimony is being heard by Choose Timothy Kerns, who will subject a verdict.
Rios-Gonzalez is suing over her therapy, after being arrested when a driver reported she had pointed a gun at him throughout a highway rage incident. The lawsuit accused three officers of performing recklessly and failing of their obligation to care for her whereas she was of their custody.