AURORA | An Arapahoe County jury last week convicted a 20-year-old Aurora man of vehicular homicide and other charges in connection with a fatal traffic crash on East Colfax Avenue two years ago.
Jurors on May 6 found Christian Fehr guilty of a pair of felonies — leaving the scene of an accident involving death and vehicular homicide — and the traffic offense of reckless driving. Fehr had pleaded not guilty to the charges filed against him in September of 2019.
The verdict came nearly 25 months after Fehr struck and killed Marvin Vincente-Pelico, 34, as he was attempting to cross the roadway near the intersection of Colfax and Kingston Street.
Investigators said Fehr struck Vincente-Pelico while driving a 2007 Chevy Avalanche in the early morning hours of April 8, 2019, traveling about 75 miles per hour in a 35-mile-per-hour zone.
Shortly after the collision, Aurora police said Vincente-Pelico was hit in the rightmost lane along the eastbound portion of Colfax, just west of a crosswalk. He was thrown about 30 feet and found unresponsive beside a light pole. He was pronounced dead at a hospital a short time later.
After initially fleeing the scene to call his father, Fehr returned to the intersection and spoke with police, according to a police report.
Fehr admitted to running into a man while driving east on Colfax, but he accused the pedestrian of running in front of his vehicle, police said.
Police then ran Fehr through a series of roadside sobriety tests, which he repeatedly failed, according to the police report.
“Fehr had difficulty maintaining his balance during the instruction phase,” police wrote in their report. “Fehr … nearly fell over several times during the test … This test was not performed as a sober person would.”
Fehr later told police he had consumed three beers earlier in the night. But upon being booked into the Aurora municipal jail, he mentioned that he’d had several shots of liquor as well, according to the police report.
Members of the jury also considered the felony charge of vehicular homicide connected to DUI in their deliberations, though they couldn’t come to a disposition and were eventually hung on that count, according to state court records.
A spokesperson for the district attorney’s office said prosecutors do not intend to retry that single felony charge as it carries the same penalties for the other vehicular homicide charge for which Fehr was convicted.
Earlier this year, Fehr was sentenced to 30 days in jail in Denver after being found guilty of driving under restraint, a charge related to operating a vehicle after consuming alcohol, records show. A warrant for Fehr’s arrest has been issued in that case.
“This defendant did not mean to kill Mr. Vincente-Pelico, but that is not consolation to the victim’s family,” District Attorney John Kellner said in a statement. “Driving is a privilege that comes with responsibilities, and there are consequences when those are flaunted.”
Fehr is set to be sentenced in his Arapahoe County case in August. He could face up to 12 years in state prison, though incarceration is not a mandatory punishment for the classification of felony charge for which he was convicted.