AURORA | A man convicted of killing an Aurora woman by running her over with a camper trailer and dragging her several blocks last summer has been sentenced to nearly two decades in prison, according to the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
An Arapahoe County District Court Judge on Thursday sentenced Henry Wardwell, 49, to 18 years in prison for his role in the death of 47-year-old Juliet Powell-Brown last August.
Wardwell struck Powell-Brown with a truck towing a trailer and dragged her several blocks along South Chambers Road around 5 p.m. on Aug. 7, 2018, according to information provided by Aurora police.
Police said Wardwell backed his truck into a sedan before driving out of a parking lot beside a tire store at Chambers and East Mississippi Avenue.
The three occupants of the sedan, which included Powell-Brown and her husband, then followed Wardwell’s truck in an attempt to get his attention.
The truck eventually turned west onto East Mexico Avenue and pulled over to the side of the road, police said.
As two of the three occupants of the sedan approached the truck to speak with Wardwell about the crash, he made a U-turn and at some point ran over Powell-Brown. She was trapped under the truck’s attached trailer for several blocks.
Wardwell continued driving after Powell-Brown detached from the trailer near East Bails Place, according to the DA’s Office.
Police located Wardwell a short while later and arrested him near South Sable Boulevard and East Arkansas Drive.
An Arapahoe County jury convicted Wardwell of the five charges filed against him in May. He was found guilty of a pair of traffic offenses, a misdemeanor charge and a pair of felonies: leaving the scene of an accident involving death and vehicular homicide, according to court records.
Wardwell was on probation in a felony menacing case at the time of Powell-Brown’s death, according to the local DA’s office.
He has a history of driving with a suspended license, according to District Court Judge Darren Vahle, and he was again driving without a valid license or insurance when he struck and killed Powell-Brown.
“You have shown you don’t care what the law is, whether or not you are allowed to drive,” Vahle said in a statement. “You have multiple ‘driving under suspension’ convictions, yet you drove a car you had no business driving. You backed up into innocent victims, and you ran away.”
George Brauchler, district attorney for the 18th judicial district, approved of the sentence, but chided the state’s probation practices.
“Under our ridiculous sentencing scheme, this repeat felon will be eligible for parole in a fraction of his earned sentence,” Brauchler said in a statement. “Colorado deserves better.”
Wardwell has been held at the Arapahoe County Detention Center on a $150,000 cash or surety bond for the past year, according to county records. He will now be transferred to a Department of Corrections facility.