Deadly crash suspect admitted texting, drinking

Posted at 5:42 PM, Feb 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-29 20:19:19-05

The driver suspected of hitting three people on motorcycles, killing two of them, on Saturday told a Colorado State Patrol trooper that she had looked at a text message and when she looked up, she was on the wrong side of the road and hit a motorcycle, according to the arrest warrant obtained by Denver7.

The woman, Athina Munoz, also admitted to the trooper that she had two glasses of wine before the crash and smoked marijuana that morning, the arrest warrant said.

"I detected bloodshot, watery eyes, slurred speech and the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from her breath," the trooper wrote in his report.

The trooper said Munoz "did not perform the voluntary roadside maneuvers as a sober person" when asked to complete a limited test at the hospital.

A second trooper investigating the crash was quoted in the report as saying he found "two empty alcohol bottles, a glass marijuana pipe and raw marijuana in the vehicle."

After she was released from the hospital, Munoz was arrested on suspicion of two counts of vehicular homicide-reckless, two counts of vehicle homicide - DUI/death, 1 count of assault and 2 counts of DUI.

Crash on Highway 83

The crash happened Saturday around 1:30 p.m. when Munoz's 1997 green Honda Accord going southbound crossed over the median and slammed into two northbound motorcycles on Highway 83 at North Russellville Road, according to a release from the Colorado State Patrol.

Brian and Jacquie Lehner of Parker were thrown from the 2014 maroon Harley Davidson they were riding. Brian, 58, was the driver and Jacquie, 56, was the passenger. Both died at the scene.

Joseph Bartoletti, 28, of Colorado Springs was riding a 2016 gray Harley Davidson right behind them and was also struck. He had minor injuries.

Munoz's criminal record

A check of court documents shows Munoz pleaded guilty to child abuse negligence in connection to an arrest by Aurora police on March 31, 2011. She was sentenced to 15 days in jail and 24 months probation in April 2013.

According to our partners at the Denver Post, an Athina Munoz was cleared in a home invasion shooting in Aurora on March 31, 2011.

"Athina Munoz used an assault-style rifle to kill Jovan Rivers and Harrell King at the Sable Landing Condos," according to the article.

She was not charged because the shooting reportedly fell under Colorado's Make My Day Law, which gives homeowners the right to use deadly force if an intruder comes into their home uninvited and they feel threatened.

Munoz was a "medical marijuana caregiver protecting her home," Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey told the Post.

Aurora police said she was not a caregiver and was illegally growing marijuana.


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