Jury finds man guilty of lesser offense in vehicular homicide case

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Logan Robert Arambel

A jury convicted a 20-year-old Colorado man Thursday afternoon in Moffat County District Court, albeit for a lesser offense than what he was charged with.

Logan Robert Arambel was charged in District Court with vehicular homicide, a Class 4 felony, in connection with a Dec. 26, 2008, accident on Colorado Highway 13, in northern Moffat County, between Craig and Baggs, Wyo.

Arambel, the 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office alleged, "drove a motor vehicle in a reckless manner, and the conduct was the proximate cause of the death of John Barksdale."

Barksdale, 62, was a chief lawyer on criminal cases in the U.S. Attorney's Office since 1992.

Arambel's jury trial began Tuesday. The jury returned its verdict Thursday night.

The Moffat County jury found Arambel guilty of a lesser-included offense - careless driving resulting in death, a Class 1 traffic offense.

A lesser-included offense is a crime that shares some, but not all, of the elements of a greater criminal offense.

Arambel will be sentenced Jan. 19 in District Court.

Possible penalties include 10 days to a year in county jail, a $300 to $1,000 fine, or probation.

Judge Shelley Hill ordered a pre-sentencing report be prepared for Arambel.

Jeremy Snow, a deputy district attorney who handled the trial, said he would make a sentencing recommendation to the judge but would not comment on what his recommendation would be until viewing the pre-sentencing report.

According to court documents, Arambel's white 1995 Ford F-350 was heading south on Highway 13 and Barksdale's white 2000 Ford Taurus was heading north.

Arambel was behind two semitrailers, and he attempted to pass the first in snowy conditions with limited visibility.

He struck Barksdale's car head on, the Colorado State Patrol reported.

Barksdale suffered severe head trauma and several broken bones. He never regained consciousness after the collision.

Comments

dexter 5 years, 2 months ago

This story is far from over. Evidence found, that was not processed by the Colorado State Patrol, indicates that Mr. Barksdale did not have his lights on. He was driving a white, low profile vehicle, on a day that was overcast and the roads were snowpacked without his lights on. Could the State Patrol and DA's office be at fault here for not accurately investigating this case because the man who died was a US Attorney???? The DA's office would also like the public to think this young man is a punk kid instead of a Fire Fighter/EMT.

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xrsareus 5 years, 2 months ago

I cannot see how the blame can be put on Mr. Bardsdale. It is not illegal to drive without headlights in the day time. Even though a person learns part of driving defensively, a person uses his headlights for more visibility.

This "punk kid" was the one who made the choice to pass in less than ideal road conditions, when safe to do so, which means, he could see there was no oncoming traffic. As a firefighter/EMT this "punk kid" should have been more aware of the consequences of unsafe driving by having seen first hand the aftermath, suffering and total change to a person's and their family's life's because of another drivers poor driving. The truck's didn't cause the accident, Mr. Bardsdale didn't cause the accident, the weather didn't cause the accident, the "punk kid" caused the accident with his poor choice to pass when not clear. I'm sure this "punk kid" will live with his decision to pass for the rest of his life but that choice took another's life and he should accept the full penalty.

Dexter, Would you feel the same if this was your family member who was killed?

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Rebelgirl 5 years, 2 months ago

and yes i realize I did spell Mr Bardsdales name inccorectly

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Rebelgirl 5 years, 2 months ago

Have you ever thought that accidents happen? The report did state that Barkesdale was driving a "low profile vehicle" and conditions were bad. Do you happen to know other than the stated location where this happened, have you driven up there to see? Highway 13 north is notorious for bad accidents as it is. Yes the firefighter emt should not have attempted to pass, and if it were me in a white vehicle of any type in blowing snow conditions I would have thought to have turned my lights on. The "punk kid" was not drunk was not under the influence he just made a bad decision. Try to think of both sides of the story here and not just one!!

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dexter 5 years, 2 months ago

Something stinks here. Jeremy Snow's Level 4 Accident Reconstructionist was either too stupid or too lazy to bother looking through all the physical evidence, or there was a predetermined desired outcome in play. For one of these reasons, said "expert" testified that crucial evidence was totally destroyed in the crash when it is, in fact, still intact. He lied, simple as that.

Xrsareus said "Even though a person learns part of driving defensively, a person uses his headlights for more visibility." Exactly. And if his lights weren't on, he wasn't as visible as he could be, correct? So was it careless of Barksdale not to have his lights on? Apparently, reduced visibility due to "snow clouds" was not proven to the jury or they would have convicted on the reckless charge.

Rebelgirl is correct, sometimes accidents do happen.

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xrsareus 5 years, 2 months ago

Dexter, Who in their right mind would pull out to pass not knowing for sure it was safe to pass? Those are the people that cause accident. Snowing, the trucks blowing snow around. Headlights on or not there was probably not visibility to safely pass. We have all driven on roads around here in the winter, we know what terrible visibility can occur. 13 is one of the worst with narrow roads and wind. No headlights, white car, snowing, trucks blowing snow, it is not Mr. Bardsdale's fault. He did not make the unsafe pass. Put blame where blame is due.

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dexter 5 years, 2 months ago

Were you there at 11:30 to verify the road conditions?? How do you know the trucks were blowing up snow? Back to my original post "Why didn't the State Patrol do their job in investigating this accident?" Why were charges filed before the police reports were completed? Why were the reports completed and turned in over 30 days after the accident? Why was there only one witness statement taken from someone who didn't even stop after the accident? Why was his statement taken over the phone one month after the accident? What about the other drivers who were following behind the pickup and were held there for three hours? What about evidence that was impounded and never processed? After all accident's do happen.

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xrsareus 5 years, 2 months ago

Dexter, I don't know what the conditions were, But if the road conditions were not bad and visibility was good, then, he should have been able to see that it was not safe to pass. I get the feeling you think your friend got a raw deal. Looks like Mr. Bardsdale and his family got the raw deal. I'm guessing your friend will be home in less than a year.

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dexter 5 years, 2 months ago

Unfortunately, both families have gotten a raw deal thanks to the ineptness of the State Patrol's investigation.

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