A 20-year-old Eagle County man pleaded not guilty to vehicular homicide in District Court on Friday.
Representing Luke Ross Gray, attorney Charles Feldmann said his client was innocent and requested a jury trial to decide the case.
District Court Judge Michael O'Hara set a five-day jury trial for June 21. Gray, who is attending college in Texas, communicated through a conference call at Friday's hearing.
"I am confident, judge, that we have exhausted our plea negotiations at this point," Feldmann said during Friday's hearing.
On June 29, Gray was charged with vehicular homicide, drunken driving, minor in possession and consumption of alcohol, and careless driving. At Friday's hearing, Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James said one of the lesser counts could be dropped.
Gray was charged with vehicular homicide after it was alleged that he drove a 1993 Dodge pickup off a road eight miles northwest of Toponas. Andres Hernandez, a 24-year-old from Gypsum, died after being ejected from the truck.
Gray and fellow passenger, 23-year-old Lucas Kelley, were not injured.
Questions were raised about how long the trial would take. St. James said two days should be enough time to try the case, but Feldmann requested a five-day trial. Feldmann said he would need at least two days to rebut the state's case and present his case.
Feldmann said the defense plans to bring a witness to the stand to reconstruct the accident and plans to question Gray's blood-alcohol content and the roadside maneuvers preformed.
Gray is scheduled to appear in court again May 4 for a pretrial hearing and motions hearing.
Gray has no criminal or traffic record.
Gary is a fifth-generation Colorado resident who lives in Eagle County with his mother and stepfather. His father lives in Mesa and is the director of mountain operations for Powderhorn Resorts.
According to the Colorado State Patrol, the accident occurred when Gray was driving northbound on a private dirt road on the Bardin Ranch north of Routt County Road 6. Gray drove the truck off the right side of the road, according to reports, and the truck rolled over two times down a steep embankment and came to rest on its wheels. No one was wearing a seat belt.
State patrol reported that Hernandez, who was sitting in the center of the truck, was ejected and landed 10 feet east of the vehicle. He was pronounced dead on the scene.
Gray was arrested and booked at the Routt County jail early June 29. He was released the same day on $20,000 bond.
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