Re­porter’s killer will be re­leased

Af­ter serv­ing 126 days in prison, he’ll be free on 6 years’ pro­ba­tion.

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Noelle Phillips

A 24-year-old who struck and killed a Den­ver Post re­porter while driv­ing drunk is set to be re­leased from prison in the com­ing days.

Je­sus Car­reno was placed on six years’ pro­ba­tion Mon­day af­ter serv­ing 126 days in prison for the Aug. 31 death of Colleen O’Con­nor, 60. He had pleaded guilty this year to one count of ve­hic­u­lar homi­cide-reck­less driv­ing and one count of driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence.

As part of his plea agree­ment, Car­reno was given the chance to have his sen­tence re­duced if he stayed out of trou­ble while in cus­tody of the state De­part­ment of Cor­rec­tions. Judge Sheila A. Rap­pa­port on Mon­day granted his re­lease and placed him on six years of pro­ba­tion, which means he must re­port reg­u­larly to a pro­ba­tion of­fi­cer, avoid ar­rests and pass rou­tine drug and al­co­hol tests.

Car­reno has been housed at the Trinidad Cor­rec­tional In­sti­tute. It is un­clear when he will be re­leased be­cause of Tues­day’s fed­eral hol­i­day.

Car­reno had a blood-al­co­hol con­tent level of .206 per­cent, which is four times the le­gal limit for driv­ing, when he struck O’Con­nor at the in­ter­sec­tion of First Av­enue and Down­ing Street. O’Con­nor had been on her way home from an evening walk, and he was driv­ing home from a Rock­ies base­ball game.

At a sen­tenc­ing hear­ing in March, Car­reno apol­o­gized to O’Con­nor’s friends and fam­ily for her death and of­fered no ex­cuses.

“This trau­ma­tiz­ing event I’ll re­gret with all of my be­ing and for the rest of my life,” he said dur­ing the sen­tenc­ing hear­ing. “The only thing I can do is take full re­spon­si­bil­ity for the ir­re­spon­si­ble de­ci­sion I made in the first place to drive in­tox­i­cated. I’m heart­bro­ken, and I’m heart­bro­ken for ev­ery one of you.”

O’Con­nor had worked at The Post for 12 years.

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