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Jury acquits Broze of causing cyclist’s death

Judge's gavel
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A jury found Julie Broze not guilty of vehicular homicide in the 2018 death of Scott Adams, but convicted her of driving under the influence Thursday.

“Ms. Broze, when the jury returns a verdict, I’m going to ask you to stand up and face them,” 9th District Judge Berkely Boyd said before the jury entered to announce the verdict.

“Ok,” Broze replied.

The jury began deliberations midmorning Wednesday and reached a verdict around 2 p.m. Thursday.

Broze held her hand to her mouth as the jury read the not-guilty verdict.

Both the prosecution and defense attorneys agreed that Broze’s car struck Adams, then 54 and a longtime homeless resident of Carbondale, was crossing South Glen Ave at 27th Street just before midnight June 2, 2018.

A video of the incident captured by an Uber driver’s dashcam showed Adams begin crossing the four-lane road on his bicycle just after the light for cross-traffic turned green. He was apparently wearing dark clothing without reflectors.

Broze’s attorney also acknowledged in opening arguments that Broze was driving under the influence, but prosecutors asserted she would have been able to stop in time had she not been impaired, as another driver going the opposite direction had done.

 “You’re going to learn that the sober driver stopped, but Ms. Broze didn’t,” deputy district attorney Zac Parsons told the jury in his opening statement.

Public defender Scott Troxell on the other hand argued that Broze was not the legal cause of Adams’ death.

Despite Broze’s alcohol content and the THC in her system, she was driving appropriately, not weaving, and traveling in the appropriate lane at the time of the collision, Troxell said.

Broze did not testify at the trial. Both prosecuting and defense attorneys declined to comment after the trial ended.

Prosecutors offered Broze a plea deal for lesser charges in 2018, but Broze did not act on it before the Dec. 2018 deadline, and a trial was set for May of that year.

That trial date was delayed after she was released from jail on bond and skipped a Feb. 26, 2019, court date. She was arrested near Minneapolis, Minn., April 29 and extradited to Garfield County.

Broze, who is currently being held in the Garfield County Jail on $30,000 bond, is scheduled to be sentenced for the DUI charge Feb. 11.

A first-time DUI conviction is punishable by 5 days to 1 year in jail, up to $1,000 fine, community service and up to a 9-month driving license suspension.

tphippen@postindependent.com


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