Driver who killed Colorado trooper during blizzard gets jail

GREELEY, Colo. (AP) — A man who lost control of his car and killed a Colorado state trooper helping a stranded driver during a blizzard will spend 90 days behind bars.

In an unexpected move, a judge on Wednesday sentenced John Carpenter, 59, of Centennial to time in jail in the death of Cpl. Daniel Groves on Interstate 76 near Roggen during March's bomb cyclone storm.

Carpenter had pleaded guilty to failure to exercise due care when approaching a stationary vehicle causing death in a plea deal that eliminated the possibility of a state prison sentence, the Greeley Tribune reported. However, newly seated District Judge Vincente Vigil still had the option of imposing up to 90 days in county jail and said he could not imagine a circumstance when a life had been lost where jail time would not be appropriate.

Vigil also ordered Carpenter to be on supervised probation for 8 1/2 years and perform 850 hours of community service.

Vigil refused a request to allow Carpenter to delay his imprisonment to allow time to coordinate his medication needs because he is recovering from pneumonia.

“It's not appropriate in a case when you have killed a law enforcement officer to leave the court in anything else but handcuffs," Vigil said.