Logan Otis appears before Moffat County judge Tuesday
Logan Otis, who sustained no injuries in a fatal rollover crash that killed his father, appeared before Moffat County Combined Court Judge Sandra Gardner on Tuesday.
The 20-year-old is charged with vehicular homicide, driving under the influence, driving under restraint, careless driving and illegal possession of alcohol. Molly Hamshire from the Steamboat Springs Public Defender’s Office represented him.
On the evening of April 30, Otis was driving a 2002 Ford Focus along Moffat County Road 18, traveling at high speeds while allegedly intoxicated. The car rolled over and Dennis Otis, 52, was ejected from the vehicle. He was not wearing a seatbelt and was pronounced dead on the scene. Logan Otis was wearing a seatbelt.
Gardner started the hearing by advising Logan Otis of his rights and explaining the complaint brought against him.
A $20,000 bond was posted for Logan Otis on May 5. He was accompanied by his mother, Wendy Otis, in court.
The state of Colorado alleges that Otis unlawfully operated a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and his conduct “was the proximate cause of the death of Dennis Otis.”
Gardner said the charge of vehicular homicide, a class three felony, is clearly the most serious count brought against Otis.
“The presumptive penalty is a four- to 12-year prison sentence,” she said. “If there are exceptional circumstances that term can be as low as two or as great as 24 years.”
The court may also fine Otis up to $750,000 for the vehicular homicide.
All the other five charges brought against Otis are misdemeanors. The DUI carries the next highest penalty with up to one year in the county jail, Garnder said.
Otis has 14 days to make a written request for a preliminary hearing. At that hearing, the state will have to provide evidence that Otis did in fact commit a felony offense.
“It is intended as a screening device for the court to be assured that there is sufficient evidence to try you on the felony offense,” Gardner said to Otis.
Otis told Gardner that he was unsure whether or not he will continue to be represented by a public defender or hire his own attorney.
Otis and his mother declined to comment.
The next hearing will be at 1:30 p.m. June 30 at Moffat County Courthouse.
Wendy and Dennis Otis were divorced in 2010, and Logan Otis was living with his mother while working at Walmart in Craig at the time of the crash.
The Dennis Otis that died is not the same Dennis Otis that owns Cool Water Grill in Craig.
Reach Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.
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