Suspect sentenced to probation after seriously injuring a child during a 2019 hit-and-run

Written on 11/09/2020

Last week, the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office voiced their disappointment after a suspect was sentenced to probation for this serious assault on a child. On November 8, 2019 the 10-year-old victim was walking home from school with her 6-year-old sister. The two were walking on the sidewalk in the area of 58th Avenue and Carr Street in Arvada, when a vehicle drove over the curb and crashed into the 10-year-old.

The 10-year-old victim suffered serious injuries, including two broken legs, a broken arm, a concussion, a laceration on her stomach and additional internal injuries.

The driver did not remain on scene and was subsequently contacted by the Arvada Police Department the same day. Arvada Police advised the driver, 51-year-old Jose Morales-Reyes, was arrested and that drugs and/or alcohol were a factor in the crash. In July of 2020, Morales-Reyes was found guilty of the following crimes, following a weeklong jury trial:

  • Leaving the Scene of an Accident – Serious Bodily Injury (Class 4 Felony)
  • Vehicular Assault – Serious Bodily Injury (Class 5 Felony)
  • Driving while Ability Imparted (Misdemeanor)
  • Reckless Driving (Traffic Offense)

On October 30, 2020, Morales-Reyes was back in court for his sentencing hearing. During the hearing the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office argued for Morales-Reyes to be sentenced to prison. Based on the charges against Morales-Reyes, the DA’s office advised Morales-Reyes could potentially be sentenced to 9 years in prison. At the conclusion of the hearing, District Court Judge Laura Tighe sentenced Morales-Reyes to eights year of probation and two years of work release.

Following the sentencing, DA Pete Wier commented ““We are very disappointed in this sentence,” “This little girl suffered very serious injuries at the hands of Morales-Reyes. Her family deserves a sentence that more justly reflects the impact this has had on their child and family.”