Man who killed Weld County Deputy Alexis Marie Hein-Nutz in crash sentenced

Jennifer McRae
CBS News
January 16, 2024

The man who pleaded guilty to a crash that killed Weld County Sheriff's Deputy Alexis Marie Hein-Nutz has been sentenced to 24 years in the Department of Corrections, the maximum allowed under state law. Norberto Garcia-Gonzales, 37, was involved in a two-vehicle crash on Sept. 18, 2022 at Weld County Road 37 and AA Street in unincorporated Weld County.

The Colorado State Patrol investigated the crash and determined that Garcia-Gonzales failed to yield to Hein-Nutz after stopping at a stop sign. Hein-Nutz was riding her motorcycle to work at the Weld County Jail. She was killed in the crash.

Garcia-Gonzales didn't help Hein-Nutz and ran away from the crash. He was arrested the following day after he was found hiding in an apartment in Fort Collins.

Prosecutors said at the time of the crash, Garcia-Gonzales had his driving privilege revoked for two prior alcohol-related offenses and had outstanding warrants for his arrest. He also had been using a fake Social Security card and a fake permanent U.S. residency card under the name Octavio Gonzales.

According to the Colorado State Patrol, open and unopened containers of alcohol were found in Garcia-Gonzales' vehicle at the crash site but because he ran away and hid from authorities, law enforcement was unable to further investigate Garcia-Gonzales' impairment immediately after the crash.

Garcia-Gonzales pleaded guilty in November 2023 to leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death in exchange for the remaining four misdemeanors and traffic offenses being dismissed.

"Alexis Hein-Nutz was truly special. She made everyone and everything around her better. We truly cannot describe the impact the Defendant's actions have caused. Anything less than the maximum sentence would unduly diminish the seriousness of the offense," said 19th Judicial Chief Deputy District Attorney Michael Pirraglia in a statement.