ST. PAUL, Minn. - A St. Paul man may be rethinking his decision to turn down a plea deal after a jury found him guilty Wednesday in the death of a Harding High School student.
The trial of 50-year-old Carlos Viveros-Colorado took just under two weeks. Jurors found him guilty of one felony count of criminal vehicular homicide in the death of 16-year-old Clarisse Grime.
He was also convicted on one count of operating a vehicle in a negligent manner resulting in bodily harm, a gross misdemeanor.
Grime's mother and aunt wept as the verdict was read. Viveros-Colorado showed absolutely no emotion as he was pronounced guilty.
Squads were called to the corner of 3rd Street East and Hazelwood the afternoon of July 5 on a report that a speeding SUV had struck two pedestrians. Upon their arrival they found Grime dead on the scene. Her boyfriend had escaped serious injury.
Witnesses told investigators the driver of that vehicle, Viveros-Colorado, was driving at excessive speed when he lost control, struck a fire hydrant, careened across Hazelwood Street and jumped the curb, then rolled down the embankment where he fatally struck Grime.
Viveros-Colorado told police that he had been suffering from numbness in his legs for three to four months and that that was what caused him to swerve to avoid hitting a parked car.
Police say he had no drivers license; Viveros-Colorado's sister told investigators that he was working in the U.S. without documentation.
"There certainly will be an immigration consequence but ultimately, that's for other people to decide," Ramsey County Attorney John Choi told KARE 11. "When we prosecute a case we're not looking at it from that perspective, we're focused on the facts of the case and the law to make sure we're holding someone accountable."
Prosecutors offered Viveros-Colorado a plea deal in early November but he turned it down, opting for a trial instead.
Sentencing is set for December 17. If found guilty Carols Viveros-Colorado faces a 10-year prison sentence on the most serious criminal count.
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