Plea offered in Robbins case

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The family of a Clark man killed while a passenger in a car that crashed in June between Kremmling and Silverthorne is not happy with a plea agreement offered to the driver of the car.

"We were hoping this would go to trial or the pressure would cause (the driver) to react more positively," said Rick Akin, an attorney for the firm representing the family of Jeffery Harris, the man killed in the accident. "Neither of those has happened."

Daniel Robbins, 31, of Denver, initially faced charges of manslaughter, vehicular homicide and reckless driving in connection with the case.

Under the proposed agreement, Robbins faces 90 days in jail and a $300 fine in exchange for pleading guilty to vehicular homicide, a Class 4 felony. The manslaughter and reckless driving charges would be dropped.

In June, Robbins was driving his 2004 Dodge Viper on Colorado Highway 9 south of Kremmling when he lost control of his car, hitting a guardrail and killing Harris, 22.

The Colorado State Patrol estimated Robbins was driving about 120 mph when he crashed. The speed limit on that stretch of Colo. 9 is 65 mph.

Robbins' Steamboat Springs attorney, Charles Feldmann, said it would be up to the court to determine what punishment Robbins would receive if he pleaded guilty.

The plea offer also states that Robbins would plead guilty to speeding more than 25 mph over the speed limit, which is a Class 2 misdemeanor. Robbins would specifically plead guilty to speeding more than 40 mph over the speed limit, a 12-point traffic violation.

Robbins would be required to comply with supervised probation; pay for an advertisement to be published in Grand and Routt County newspapers expressing apology for the loss of Harris' life, admitting to reckless driving and discouraging speeding; write a letter of apology to the victim's family; complete a safe driving course within three months of obtaining a driver's license; and complete 300 hours of community service.

Akin said that Harris' parents, Dan and Doral Harris, made it clear to Grand County District Attorney Dan Edwards weeks before the plea was offered that they were opposed to any negotiation in the case.

Feldmann said he has not discussed the specifics of the plea agreement with Robbins, though the two are expected to meet later this week.

"I was encouraged the DA's Office offered the plea, because I know this has been extremely hard on the victim's family," Feldmann said.

Akin said the Harrises think Robbins has not demonstrated remorse.

But Feldmann said his client is devastated by what happened, but on Feldmann's advice, Robbins has not tried to communicate with Harris' family.

"Dan (Robbins) is extremely remorseful for what has happened. Jeff was his best friend. Dan tried to pull Jeff from the car and save his life at the scene," he said. "I have tried to convey Dan's remorse to the victim's family. I know this has been an extremely difficult time for them."

Robbins is scheduled in Grand County Court on Oct. 28. Robbins' plea will be revoked if he does not accept it within seven days before that date.

-- To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234

or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com

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