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Man arrested in hit-and-run crash that killed Weld County deputy

Suspect faces potential charges of leaving the scene, careless driving resulting in death
Weld County Sheriff’s Office_fatal hit-and-run_AA Street and 37th
Posted at 12:04 PM, Sep 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-20 18:29:12-04

DENVER — The man arrested Monday night in connection with a hit-and-run crash that killed a Weld County sheriff’s deputy on Sunday evening faces potential charges of leaving the scene of an accident involving death and careless driving resulting in death, according to Colorado State Patrol.

Norberto Garcia-Gonzales, 35, was arrested in the Fort Collins area around 10:15 p.m. Monday after officials sent out statewide notices for his arrest. According to the sheriff’s office, he was arrested using Deputy Alexis Hein-Nutz’s jail handcuffs.

Norberto Garcia-Gonzales was arrested using the handcuffs of Weld County Deputy Alexis Hein-Nutz, the deputy whom he is accused of killing in a hit-and-run crash.

Colorado State Patrol originally identified him as Octavio Gonzales-Garcia and said he was between the ages of 36 and 38, but a Weld County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson said Tuesday investigators had discovered he was using an assumed identity.

The Weld County sheriff said Monday investigators found a falsified Green Card and fake Social Security card in the minivan and that he may have been intoxicated.

Court records show he has previously been arrested and convicted of DUI in Colorado at least twice.

A spokesperson for the sheriff's office said investigators confirmed Garcia-Gonzales's real identity through fingerprints and his passport.

Garcia-Gonzales made his first court appearance on Tuesday and had his bond set at $500,000 cash or surety. He has another court date scheduled for Friday.

Norberto Garcia-Gonzales's mug shot.

The crash happened at the intersection of AA Street and Weld County Road 37 around 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

Deputy Hein-Nutz, 24, was off duty but was riding her motorcycle to work and was headed southbound on CR 37 when a driver in a minivan, who was westbound on AA Street, hit her.

According to Colorado State Patrol, the driver of the van, identified as Garcia-Gonzales, moved forward from a stop sign at the intersection into the path of Hein-Nutz, who collided with the front-passenger side of the van.

The driver of the minivan then fled from the crash and into a nearby cornfield, according to the sheriff’s office.

Alexis Hein-Nutz_killed in weld county crash Sept 18 2022

Hein-Nutz had been with the sheriff’s office since November 2018. Sheriff Steve Reams described her as a hard worker and caring deputy.

“I share in my deputies’ grief and in their anger over her senseless and tragic passing. But we are a family, and we will get through this painful event together,” he said.

The sheriff’s office is accepting donations to help offset funeral costs for Hein-Nutz's family. The sheriff's office gave the following instructions:

  • You can make a tax-deductible donation to the Weld County Sheriff’s Office Posse and note Deputy Alexis Hein-Nutz in the memo
  • Checks can be sent or dropped off at Weld County Sheriff’s Office Headquarters, 1950 O St., Greeley, CO 80631
  • Include your name, address and phone number to receive a tax letter