GREELEY, Colo. — A man who struck and killed a Weld County deputy in September 2022 received the maximum sentence, the 19th Judicial District Attorney's Office announced on Tuesday.
The crash happened on Sept. 18, 2022, at Weld County Road 37 and AA Street in unincorporated Weld County.
Deputy Alexis Hein-Nutz, 24, was riding her motorcycle on her way to work on southbound WCR 37 when a driver in a minivan, who was westbound on AA Street, failed to yield to the right of way and hit her, the Weld County Sheriff's Office said. The suspect — later identified as Norberto Garcia-Gonzales — then ran into a cornfield.
Authorities found open and unopened containers of alcohol in the minivan.
Garcia-Gonzales was arrested the next day in Fort Collins. According to the sheriff’s office, he was arrested using Deputy Hein-Nutz’s jail handcuffs.
At the time of the crash, Garcia-Gonzales's driving privileges were revoked due to two prior alcohol-related offenses. He also had outstanding warrants for his arrest, according to the district attorney's office.
Weld County Deputy Alexis Hein-Nutz remembered during funeral service
Garcia-Gonzales had been using a fake Social Security card and a fake permanent United States residency card under the name Octavio Gonzales, the district attorney's office said.
Garcia-Gonzales pleaded guilty in November 2023 to leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, a Class 3 felony. The remaining four misdemeanor and traffic offenses were dismissed, according to the district attorney's office.
He was sentenced Friday to 24 years in prison — the maximum penalty allowed under state law.
Weld County Deputy Andy Wilson said during Hein-Nutz's funeral service that she took great pride in being part of the Weld County Sheriff's Office family. She joined the force in November 2018.
"Alexis is my partner. She was my gift from God and my dearest friend," he said.
Wilson said Deputy Hein-Nutz, who worked as a detention officer at the Weld County Jail, was a professional, goal-oriented member of the office, but remained a free spirit who loved the movie "Lilo & Stitch."
“Under the exterior, beats a free spirit,” he said. “Her family taught her, told her that honesty is your best asset.”