Driver guilty in passenger's death in 2005
Rocky Mountain News
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Author: Hector Gutierrez
A 20-year-oldman was found guilty Tuesday of vehicular homicide while driving under the influence in the death of his teen passenger more than three years ago.The Adams County jury also convicted Steven K. Martinez of a lesser count of misdemeanor careless driving resulting in death, rather than a felony count. The jury deliberated for about an hour and a half before returning with its verdicts.Chelsea Beck, 16, was riding with Martinez in a Cadillac on Jan. 31, 2005, when Martinez tried to elude a Brighton police officer, according to testimony. The officer stopped chasing Martinez because it became too dangerous. Moments after the officer gave up his pursuit, however, Martinez crashed into the back of a tow truck. Beck, a Brighton High Schoolstudent, died of head injuries a day later. Martinez, who was 17 at the time, suffered serious injuries. Martinez, Beck and two others had been drinking at a home prior to the wreck, according to the evidence. Martinez and Beck then headed out to grab some food when they were spotted by a police officer who saw them skid through an intersection.Martinez's trial had been delayed because he had spent several months at the state hospital to help determine his competency to proceed.
Man sentenced to 8 years in '05 crash that killed teen
Rocky Mountain News
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Author: Hector Gutierrez, Rocky Mountain News
It has been hard for relatives of 16 year old Chelsea Beck to fathom what went on in the moments she pleaded to be let out of a stolen car while the driver was trying to elude a police officer more than three years ago.
Steven K. Martinez, 17 at the time, was drunk and behind the wheel of the Cadillac. Moments after the officer gave up his pursuit, Martinez slammed into the back of a tow truck, killing Beck, a Brighton High School junior.
On Tuesday, Martinez, who turned 21 in March, was sentenced to eight years in prison for vehicular homicide while driving under the influence.
The trial has taken its toll on the Beck family and it has been a particularly heartbreaking week. Chelsea's father, Allen, died over the weekend and the family was preparing for his funeral service today.
"Steven had a total disregard for Chelsea on that night and only cared for himself and no one else," Chelsea's mom, Shelly Beck, said.
Martinez asked Chelsea's family for forgiveness Tuesday and took responsibility for his behavior, saying he "took the life of a good friend and a loved daughter."
On Jan. 31, 2005, Martinez and Chelsea had been drinking with friends when they decided to go to a fast food restaurant. Chelsea later called a friend to tell her she didn't know what to do because Martinez was trying to run from the police. Martinez's blood alcohol level was 0.113.