DENVER — A man arrested in connection with a hit-and-run crash that killed a Weld County sheriff’s deputy on Sept. 18 was formally charged on Friday morning.
According to court documents, Norberto Garcia-Gonzales, 35, was charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving death, careless driving resulting in death, failing to yield right of way at a stop sign, driving under restraint - alcohol-related, and obstructing a peace officer.
He appeared virtually in court on Friday morning from the Pueblo County Jail, but the hearing was set-over to Sept. 30. Judge Timothy Gerard Kerns said the formal charges were filed Friday morning.
Garcia-Gonzales, 35, — also known as Octavio Gonzales-Garcia — is accused of fleeing from a crash that killed Weld County Deputy Alexis Hein-Nutz, 24, at the intersection of AA Street and Weld County Road 37, north of Greeley, around 5:30 p.m. Sunday.
A procession and funeral for the deputy is scheduled for Saturday morning.
Hein-Nutz 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, the sheriff's office said.
According to Colorado State Patrol, the suspect 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.
Garcia-Gonzales ran into a nearby cornfield after the crash, leaving the minivan on the road, authorities said.
During the subsequent investigation, the Weld County sheriff said investigators found a falsified Green Card and fake Social Security card in the minivan and that he may have been intoxicated.
Court records show Garcia-Gonzales was previously arrested and convicted of DUI in Colorado at least twice.
He was arrested on the evening of Sept. 19 in the Fort Collins area. Authorities used Hein-Nutz’s jail handcuffs to make the arrest.
Hein-Nutz had been with the sheriff’s office since November 2018. Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams described her as a hard worker and caring deputy.
Garcia-Gonzales made his first court appearance on Sept. 20 and had his bond set at $500,000 cash or surety.
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